Agial Gallery launched a remarkable art exhibition this month under the title “30 Years and Moving” in the Saleh Barakat Gallery in Ashrafieh.
The paintings and works in the exhibition were collected by Saleh Barakat, the founder of Agial, from the plethora of exhibitions they have hosted since 1991.
From there, Agial has been thriving in the art scene, providing middle eastern artists a space to showcase their artwork.
It also worked on archiving all its publications, which has surprised even Saleh himself with their sheer number.
Saleh Barakat told The961 that the first reason for this exhibition is to give those who followed Agial through their 30 years a reminder of the hosted exhibitions.
In addition, it serves as an introduction to those who are unfamiliar with Agial and art to learn about them.
As for the second reason, Barakat said that: “I didn’t feel like doing something related to 4th of August because my stance was that you can’t do something that gives the incident its justice other than to resist and be resilient.”
Agial lost a valuable member of its team on that day, Firas Dahwiche, who was the logistician and art handler of the gallery, and he was more than just those titles in the hearts of Agial and its visitors.
“This is our way to say that we are standing strong, that we were and we still are, and that the current circumstances require us to come up with new ideas,” Barakat noted.
For Barakat, an art expert and curator, the question of his favorite gallery is a difficult one. To him, it’s like asking a father who is his favorite child.
“My father’s answer to that question was that every child is a different kind of fruit. Each with its own flavor and deliciousness.”
That’s Barakat’s philosophy when it comes to the exhibitions in his galleries.
“I believe that every artist has his own journey, and when you dive into it, you can find its beauty.” He added that he believes there is no right or wrong taste, the world is filled with diversity and there is something that will suit anyone.
In 2006, Agial faced difficulties to open with the absence of electricity, yet they still opened. Resilience is an important part of Agial’s heritage, and its mission remains to protect art and artists’ lives.