Safwan Dahoul teaches Syria the art of dreams

Published October 4th, 2012 - 07:46 GMT
Syrian artist Safwan Dahoul recieved a Doctorate in Plastic Arts in Belgium.
Syrian artist Safwan Dahoul recieved a Doctorate in Plastic Arts in Belgium.

“I am trapped by one dream after another” explains the ethereal artist Safwan Dahoul. His work depicts an exploration of the world of his dreams, imparted to the viewer with a sharp sense of brevity and sadness.

Dahoul was born in Hama, Syria in 1961. He chose to pursue the arts and studied photography at the Fine Arts Faculty of Damascus. In 1997 he was awarded a Doctorate in Plastic Arts from the Higher Plastic Arts Institute of Mons in Belgium. 

His subsequent works have been acquired by the Syrian ministry of culture and the national museum in Damascus. 

Since 1982 Dahoul has always entitled his paintings ‘The Dream’, a dream where women constitute the main subjects. He has also explained that he uses the image of women to portray himself as a protagonist in his paintings.

These often downcast, sorrowful figures are depicted in muted colors. “I have always pondered at length how I can trim the irrelevant talkative elements in my paintings”. He has achieved this by economizing on his color palette, devolving to a single color if possible.

Dahoul goes on to state “I feel I have some Pharo’s blood within me, and perhaps Assyrian roots and other strains of civilizations”. Thus his art collection has been inspired by the rejuvenating legacy of civilization.

Dahoul’s work draws on a wealth of art history; he takes inspiration from Assyrian and Pharaonic art as well as drawing upon elements of modernism and European post-war art.

Despite these influences, his work remains profoundly original and powerful in its poignancy.

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