A gallery of work by Iraqi artist Abdul Amir al-Maliki was held on Friday, at Baghdadi lounge\'s cultural centre. The event included 19 paintings, varying in sizes and stories, with themes centering around freedom, symbolism and realism as one entity. In an exclusive interview with Arab Today, the artist disclosed that he attempts to \"create a story\" through his work, which will \"force viewers to stop and look at it.\" Hailing from the classical arts, Maliki states that he is \"proud of his style of work\" adding that he tries to find a synthesis between classical and modern art. \"The young artist of today does not dwell on costs, effort nor time,\" Maliki said. \"Instead our main concern is the quality of work and being distinctive in what we do.\" Maliki concluded that the art in the eighties and nineties was the \"golden age in art.\" \"The circumstances that have passed in Iraq after 2003 have greatly influenced the artistic field\" Maliki tells Arab Today. \"Institutions are now attempting to regain the former art glory, thus are supporting new artists thoroughly.\"