Born in 1962 in Washington D.C., Fattal is the son of a diplomat, and grew up in Europe, the United States and the Middle East. He graduated in International Marketing from the City University of New York, but after some years in business he decided to dedicate himself to his art. He exhibits extensively around the world, and lives and works near Damascus, Syria.
Fattal is an eternal optimist. He is a dreamer who guides us back to the age of innocence. His drawings are ablaze with colour and movement. Cities and villages are inhabited by people engaged in their daily lives, living in harmony with each other and their surroundings. Through his paintings, he strives to make up for the daily suffering and ugliness portrayed on our screens with his alternative vision of a happier world. Instantly recognisable, his works are reminiscent of Persian miniatures, others recall Palestinian embroidery or mosaics in a mosque. He explains –
“My mission as an artist can be briefly described as a hasty urge to beautify the world and restore peace and order…My mother tells me that when I was a child, I would express myself with pencil and paper before I began to use words… to draw whatever I was incapable of verbalizing. Today Art remains my preferred means of communication.”
He has taken the 13th century mystic Sufi Jalal ad-Din Al Rumi as his model. Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry and dance as a path for reaching God. Fattal’s childhood memories of the East haunt him and dictate his themes and style. He also describes himself as a disciple of the 19th century British Romantic poet William Wordsworth, who considered infancy and childhood the purest and most precious phases in a person’s life. What is simple, childlike, or primitive is not necessarily inferior.
“Whenever this nostalgia for childhood with its innocent and happy memories overtakes me, I gladly return to them, allowing them to dominate my work in the firm belief that there remains a child in all of us, one who continues to appreciate expressions of purity and innocence.”
As well as many group shows in Europe, India, the Middle East and America, Fattal has had numerous solo shows around the world, from Poland to Pakistan, The USA to the UAE, Austria to Egypt.