Faisal Laibi

Iraq, 1947

Born in the city of Basra in Iraq, Faisel graduated from Baghdad’s Institute of Fine Arts in 1968 and the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad University in 1970. His first exhibition was at the Basra Cultural Center Gallery in Iraq (1996), followed by another at the Iraqi Artist Society in Baghdad (1972). Faisel studied art history at the Université de la Sorbonne and lived in Florence from 1984 to 1988. In 1991, Faisel relocated to London where he published the London-based satirical newspaper Al Mejrasha from 1992 to 2002. He has lived in London for the past three decades, yet, he continues to draw inspiration from the rich cultural heritage of pre-Islamic Mesopotamian civilization, specifically Sumeria, Babylon, and Assyria.
Faisal’s roots are deeply founded in art; growing up in a family of artists-his older and younger brothers as well as his sister also being painters. His art is a critical reflection on the politics and culture of Iraq. While he matured as a figurative artist outside his home country, Iraqi traditions continue to influence his practice. Reflecting on Iraqi social life, his paintings are a combination of reality and fantasy, interweaving form, aesthetics, and context.
The artist has held many solo exhibitions including ones in London (1991-1997), Germany (1998), Denmark (2001), UAE (2002), France (2007), Iraq (2007), Lebanon (2017), and most recently Qatar (2021). Public collections of his can be found in UAE, Qatar, Iraq, USA and Russia.