Ayham Jabr, Syrian artist

Born in Damascus, Syria
Lives and works in Damascus, Syria

A fleet of spaceships besieges and encircles Damascus, the world’s oldest city, the Martians issue a message, claiming: “We come to bring you peace”. Finally, it all ends in total annihilation…

The images created by Ayham Jabr may appear to come from a science-fiction cartoon, but they are actually from the war. In his collages, menacing spaceships fly through the city: Damascus Under Siege, is the title of the Syrian artist’s collage series. The Martians launch mortar attacks on the city of Damascus. “The similarity between fiction and science is this: the attacks. Everyone is attacking everyone. The underlying theme is one of human ignorance, greed, the illusion of power, and the artificial pursuit of eternal recognition”, he says.

Ayham Jabr draws his inspiration from a fused universe, caught between fiction and reality, and uses elements of science-fiction to create his collages: “I’m a huge fan of science-fiction films, and have always been fascinated by the beauty of an outer space world around us, which we hardly know anything about”, he adds. His surprising images transport us to the fringes of a surrealist reality, stuck between two wars, the Syrian and the Martian. “In a sense, war is also surrealist, because what it puts human beings through is awfully surrealist”, he says.

The artist takes advantage of the many materials around him for his collages. He uses Google, magazines, old photographs or scans of photographs. “The materials for my digital collages are everywhere, within arm’s reach, but they only come to you when you see them, and when you see what you’re supposed to see. Collage is a form of communication, just like painting, music and poetry. Conversely, expressing oneself with words may lead to misunderstandings, because unfortunately we don’t all speak the same language”, he concludes.

Ayham Jabr, who lives in Damascus, spends most of his time working in his small studio or walking through the old city, like most Damascenes. Although the situation has improved since the ceasefire, everyone is caught up in the war, some more than others. He works as a video editor for televised series, and is currently focused on a short teledocumentary, as well as a collage project using material from the National Geographic Magazine. He has also just finished a portrait project based on both digital collage and photography.

Ayham Jabr is a Surreal Collage Artist, a Video Editor, a Videographer and a Graphic Designer. He studied Electronics at Damascus University, and lives in Damascus, Syria.

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