Painting his poignant dream

About the Artist

Syrian artist Safwan Dahoul was born in Hama, Syria in 1961. He graduated from the Fine Arts Faculty of Damascus in 1983 where he studied photography and continued his experimentation and education till 1997 when he was awarded a Doctorate in Plastic Arts from the Higher Plastic Arts Institute of Mons, Belgium. Many of Dahoul’s artwork were acquired by the Syrian ministry of culture and the national museum in Damascus. Since 1982, he has always entitled his paintings “the dream”, and women constitute the main element of his work even if he uses the shape of the woman as a cover for other personalities.

Mulling over his paintings, viewers would quickly perceive that Safwan is captivated by a long-harbored dream, and his characters are entangled in a vortex of sorrow.

Safwan Dahoul : It was 25 years ago when I drew a dream. I never anticipated going all over again after all these years. Now, I am trapped by one dream after another.

Safwan Dahoul : All my paintings are just dreams within dreams. Yet, I don’t have any dream at the personal level.

The chemistry of dreams made Safwan lead a surrealistic life where he embarked on translating his dreams into canvas without any respite. His artistic collection was inspired by a rejuvenating legacy of civilization.

Safwan Dahoul : I feel I have some Pharos’ blood in me, and perhaps some Assyrian roots and other strains of civilizations. Perhaps it is an incarnation of people from old times. I embody this spiritual experience in my paintings.

He put paintings of downcast women mired in sorrow in a bottle and tossed it into the roaring ocean.

Safwan Dahoul : I immerse myself into painting women, or mostly draw myself as a woman.

Like all unrealized dreams, Safwan narrated his own accounts of dreams which unraveled their mystical soul in his paintings with sharp and well articulated brevity.

Safwan Dahoul : I have always pondered at length over how I can trim the irrelevant talkative elements in my paintings, and found out that I should economize on the colors. At times a single color is adequate, and I can even do without any colors.

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