I, The Syrian by Tammam Azzam

Tammam Azzam, Freedom Graffiti, 2013, Archival Print on Cotton Paper, 112 x 112 cm. Edition of 25

“Following the outbreak of violence in Syria, Azzam has used his artistic practice to reflect on the worsening situation in his homeland. After living in Damascus during the first seven months of the revolution, Azzam was forced to leave Syria with his family to escape conscription into the army. Following the loss of his studio due to the relocation, the artist – who was previously a prolific painter – has focused on using digital media. He has also increasingly referenced street art in his work, recognising both this and digital media as powerful and direct tools for protest that are difficult to suppress.

In early 2013, Azzam made headlines worldwide when his work Freedom Graffiti (2012) went viral on social media. He used one of the most iconic kisses in art – Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss – to highlight his country’s suffering, superimposing this powerful image of love over the walls of a bullet-ridden building in Damascus. The work was one of a series, Syrian Museum, in which Azzam inserted appropriated imagery taken from masterpieces of Western art history into photographic scenes of devastation across Syria. These images serve to focus attention on the destruction of Syria’s cultural heritage and to juxtapose the creative capacity of humanity with the damage it is also capable of inflicting. The series will be on show in London and a new presentation of Freedom Graffiti will be included.”

[Ayyam Gallery]

Tammam Azzam

“Andy Warhol’s Elvis”

“Henry Matisse’s The Dance”

“Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night”

“Edvard Munch’s The Scream”

“Francisco Goya’s The 3rd of May, 1808″

“Paul Gauguin’s Tahitian Women on the Beach”

“Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa”

“Salvador Dali’s Sleep”

Damascus from Bon Voyage Series, 2013 c-print diasec mounting 120 x 100 cm. edition of 5

Geneva from Bon Voyage Series, 2013 c-print diasec mounting 120 x 100 cm. edition of 5

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