Matti Sirvio’s Art Gallery, in Jawharat al Shatti, has now come alive with his new solo exhibition – Force Majeure – that takes up a snug spot between his annual Spring and Summer salons.
Exhibiting 21 explicit abstracts in this show, Matti has put up his own select collection that upholds the theme firmly yet each piece screams for individual attention for its sheer elegance in creativity. “I like to give names to each of my works,” he says adding that they help define and give a definite personality to each.
On display, you see the likes of First Wave, Home Alone, Quest for Holiness, Desert Bloom, Lost in the Forest, Morning Cloud, Angels Over the Opera, Memories and many more that set your perceptions on a definite path guided by the artist. While some artists prefer to leave the interpretation to the viewer, Matti seems to clear off the thorns and thistles from the viewer’s mind and help him/her understand the artist’s perspective on clearer terms.
“Force Majeure, the title of the exhibition (which refers to uncertainties that are not in our control – like cancellations of fights, and so on), indicates many changes in life that do not depend on us, big events that do not depend on us, the war in Europe that doesn’t depend on us, and the pandemic and all the restrictions around it that doesn’t depend on us,” Matti said, adding, “Over all, most works fall under this theme while a few are just artistic works with an artistic vision of their own.
The current exhibition includes 21 works but Matti had intended it to be a much smaller collection as the gallery with an artistic vision needs to have fewer works on display, so that each piece has its own space and ‘to avoid the danger that the works will start competing with each other’, he explained, adding that is also important to provide room for contemplation and interaction with the works on display.
When asked about the fate of the exhibits, if they do not get sold during the show, Matti said artists do not plan anything in advance as they expect all their works to get sold at any given exhibition.
“Artists make no plans, that’s why the works (that don’t get sold) remain in their homes and studios and they find their way somehow. Often, buyers and art collectors need time and cannot be pushed (into purchasing). If someone want to buy a bigger piece for his living room and would spend around 10-20 years around it, then he needs time to make a decision – it is like choosing your spouse – and that needs to be respected,” he asserted.
Matti also suggested that serious buyers need to be invited to art various exhibitions for them to consider purchases while businesses need to get involved in promoting art in their facilities and their events. Artists also need to be supported and sponsored by businesses – very few are currently doing it – and art collectors also need to come forth and open up their homes and showcase how they enjoy art, in order to inspire others. “People are looking for encouragement and ideas on how to place art and such initiatives would be helpful,” he said.
Appreciating the display of Omani art at the Muscat International Airport, Matti hoped that more commercial spaces, especially institutions like hospitals, where people need comforting visuals, would take up installation of art seriously, to use art as therapy in promoting the healing process. He also was of the opinion that hotels need to install original art, rather than prints, to enhance the guest experience.
About his own abstract paintings, he said, most of the works tend to be semi-abstract in nature as they contain certain symbols and elements that the viewer is able to relate to or find recognisable. One of the paintings in this exhibition titled Angels Over the Opera is symbolic of the Royal Opera House Muscat and has a lot of diverse artistic elements in terms of texture and composition, he said adding that it is a very dear and important painting to himself.
The exhibition, which opened last evening, will be on till May 26 before the gallery takes a two-month summer break.