Dupont – Logan – U Street

Meet a Borderstan Artist: Marwan Khayat, Painter


Some of Marwan Khayat's paintings. (Photos: Luis Gomez Photos)


Marwan Khayat holds one of his favorites paintings. (Photos: Luis Gomez)

by Luis Gomez

Marwan Khayat lives in Borderstan, but was born and raised in Israel. He spent most of his childhood and teen years in  Nazareth where he attended Catholic school. Marwan’s family has lived in the Galilee area in northern Israel for many generations and it influences his painting.

“Northern Israel is known for its beautiful terrain and captive landscapes. It is an area dear to my heart… and a source of inspiration,” he says.

When asked what motivated him to paint, Marwan says he can’t think of a specific time or incident that got him hooked. He remembers enjoying sketching as a little boy: “Back in middle school, during Christmastime, I was the one assigned to paint on the glass windows in our classroom. Art has always felt as a part of me… it has always felt right to paint and sketch.”

How did he end up in Washington, in Borderstan? Marwan met his wife during college in Israel (she is American) and they then moved to the United States.

“Probably the biggest impact my move to the U.S. had on my art was simply that I was finally able to paint. I was able to find the time and the resources to buy art supplies and paint during the weekends.” Washington provides Marwan with inspiration for his paintings. He notes the city’s diverse population, history and the large number of museums and galleries.

Borderstan—the Dupont-Logan area—provides good inspiration for Marwan’s art. “I get inspired walking down the street, preferably during the fall, on a sunny but cold morning… where light and shadow are harmoniously intertwined on the houses along my route,” he says. Marwan said he particularly likes looking at the houses and architecture on Corcoran Street NW.

Marwan has no formal training: “I get my training from visiting art museums around the world, and reading related books and magazines.” When describing his paintings, he says that he does not yet have a set style or method, and describes his painting style as “dynamic, shifting through phases of fascination, disappointment and perseverance.”

Marwan works as a translator and he and his wife are expecting their first child soon. He has not had any formal exhibitions yet, but hopes they will come.

“For now I am using the walls in our house as my gallery” he says.

Editor’s Note: Check out Marwan’s photo blog, Wiser with Art.


November 16, 2009 - Posted by | arts & entertainment | ,


  1. Quite exceptional! particularly in light of the fact that Marwan has no formal training. Perhaps we’ll see more of his work either here or in a gallery somewhere.

    Comment by Avi | November 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. WOW! kol hakavod!

    Comment by ayelet | November 16, 2009 | Reply

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