Gallery43 is the personal gallery of the painter Rakip Shabani. It exhibits about 100 works by the author from 1969 to 2020. In addition to the works exhibited in this gallery, Rakip Shabani's paintings are also on display at the National Gallery of Art in Tirana and Vlora.
His works can also be found in some embassies such as Paris, Italy, Brazil, Monte Carlo and others. In addition, large hotels and cruises have adorned their premises with this painter's art.
Gallery43 bears this name, since the painter himself was born in 1943. In this way, its name is personalized and directly linked to its creativity.
The painter significantly links his creativity with nature and the organic connection that art has with nature. "You don't become an artist through school, but by working and sacrificing for your art," he says. The author has traveled all over Albania three times and has stayed as close as possible to nature, sleeping in the mountains with herds and capturing in detail the beauty of nature and every spectrum of light. The techniques expressed in his paintings are different ranging from oil to watercolor techniques.
Many of his paintings relate to the culture and history of Albania. In addition to historical figures, the author also has a room dedicated entirely to Albanian legends. Figurative art is very important as it perpetuates history. For the author, this is his art's mission: To perpetuate Albanian history and culture through painting. The word art means feeling and perpetuation of true art arises only if an artist studies and knows the ethnography, topography, fairy tales and legends of a place. Understanding the origin of a toponym is also the meaning of the history of this country.
This strong connection with Albanian culture and nature is best expressed in paintings dedicated to Ali Pasha. He has dedicated to Ali Pasha paintings a special room in Gallery43. In it you will see various paintings dedicated to his figure as well as a painting dedicated to the place where they killed Ali Pasha. The desire to paint Ali Pasha was born after discovering that all the foreign authors had created for him, while an Albanian painter hadn’t. To paint his picture on paper Rakip Shabani studied the books of that time, ethnography and the figure of Ali. Ali Pasha has been studied by this author socially and not on theinfamous acts. Ali Pasha is described as a social figure being the only Muslim who has built a church. He is also praised for the importance he attaches to art and history.
The paintings on the capital cannot be overlooked in the painter's creativity. You can easily notice the many details of the Tabak Bridge and the Tabak neighborhood. These paintings are expressed in black and white, but it should be noted that none of the author's paintings have shades as the author has an organic connection to light and expresses it in each painting. In addition to the historical part, the author has introduced urban life to the cycle of street wanderers. In each of their portraits the story of the 'bourbons' of Tirana is described as the author calls them.
When asked about present-day Tirana and art he does not hesitate to express his displeasure. The author says that the city lacks art and the city's infrastructure is not artistic at all or that it holds the values of the past..