Tammam Azzam: Painting Syria’s war zone with the kiss of artistic life

Published February 6th, 2013 - 08:52 GMT
'I want to discuss how the whole world could be interested in art and on the other hand two hundred people are killed every day in Syria.' (Photo courtesy of Facebook)
'I want to discuss how the whole world could be interested in art and on the other hand two hundred people are killed every day in Syria.' (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Amid all the suffering and horror unfolding in Syria, artists are still applying paint to canvas, movie-makers images to film. Now one Syrian artist has used modern technology to create an image which has gone viral on Twitter.

Damascene artist Tammam Azzam’s superimposed Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” on the facade of a bullet-ridden building in Damascus.

The photo, which has swept across the Internet and convinced many it was a real mural, has caused many to fall in love with his work.

Azzam told the Huffington Post: “I want to discuss how the whole world could be interested in art and on the other hand two hundred people are killed every day in Syria. Goya created a work to immortalize [the] killing of hundreds of innocent Spanish citizens on May 3, 1808. How many May 3rds do we have in Syria today?”

The image is reminiscent of the Berlin Wall graffiti showing a kiss between two Communist leaders, or of the U.K. artist Banksy’s work on the wall separating Israeli-held territory from Palestinian land.

As Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones put it: “The painting whose golden ghost he has made to materialise on a ruinous facade is a passionate plea for universal love.”


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