French-Algerian artist, Samy Halim was born in 1974. Halim grew up just next to the largest palm grove in Algeria. There, buildings, faces, landscapes were so heated up by the sun that colours seem to melt in the light. Samy Halim was 20 years old in Algiers, in 1994. The capital was then the heart of the civil war. There was no way to escape the cruelty, the arbitrariness, the atrocities of war. Not even a place like the Higher School of Fine Arts in Algiers, where he was trained as a classical artist. He moved to France in 1994, where he worked as graphic designer and art director in Paris for 15 years, before starting his own illustration studio in 2011. Samy eventually ended up with this unique technique which combines hand drawn and digital rendering, balancing perfectly between the effects of the digital tools and the beautiful imperfection of the human hand. Memories of his early years in Algeria translate into Samy Halim’s work, showing the extraordinary vital force of the artist. In the exuberance of the aesthetic of the 80s-90s — time of his formative years and of urban culture explosion — Samy finds brilliant, vibrant colours and powerful forms. In the meticulous application and the patience needed to reach the extreme refinement of the Art Deco motifs, he seeks healing and appeasement that artistic practice can provide. Having been raised in Africa has left a strong impression on him, both in his perception of light and colour and in the choice of faces he depicts. Through his portraits, Halim strives to show the beauty, diversity and modernity of his continent.
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