Nature comes first, and to hell with man

About the Artist

Unlike other artists who set off for big cities in pursuit of making a name for themselves, Shamsuddin went back to his village, al-Bazoureya, where everything was in perfect harmony.

Mohammed Shamsuddin: Lebanon in its entirety is the same. It is just a small world.

Forced to flee to Beirut in the wake of the Israeli occupation of his village, Shamsuddin joined the School of Fine Arts there, and afterwards moved to Paris to earn more academic honors. Shamsuddin had the choice to live and work in Paris.

Mohammed Shamsuddin: I had the freedom to stay there, yet I came back because of my old failed dreams.

The war and devastation in his country made Shamsuddin change his perception of art. It marked the end of the concept of paintings predicated on the presence of space above and earth below.

As bombardments rattled the balcony where he stood, turning his world upside down, he decided to introduce revolutionary changes on his canvas.
Mohammed Shamsuddin: I reversed the concept of the sky above and the earth beneath.

Leaving nature and human portraits, Shamsuddin chose the hard path of abstractionism. However, the lonely setting of his village pulled him back to nature, but not to human characters.

Mohammed Shamsuddin: I took refuge with the abstractionist style as it is more challenging. I made an escape from nature and man, yet soon I realized that nature is very rich, but not man.