Mahmood Al Daoud, Syrian artist

Born in Homs, Syria in 1987
Lives in Damascus, Syria

In his 2013 painting series entitled “In the Emptiness”, the “telluric beings” created by the brush of Mahmood Al Daoud, a young Syrian painter, appear to emerge from a void. Silhouettes of incomplete, thick, coarsely hewn forms, comprising sections of superposed colours (touches of purple, blue, Indian yellow, mixed with hints of grey or even greenish brown) create a sort of magma reminiscent of a being in the process of conception. Set against bright, smooth, monochrome or two-tone backgrounds, these solo portraits appear to showcase the representations of a telluric being emerging from the natural elements, the soil, the emptiness… And which expresses man’s materiality, his primary and animal instincts, the interstellar emptiness enveloping it.

A vision of humanity stamped with cynicism. A dark, disillusioned look… which Mahmood Al Daoud expressed through some twenty large acrylic paintings on highly textured canvases (with marouflage effect), which, for audiences seeking simplification, inevitably allude to the situation in Syria, to the human condition, and the helplessness of his compatriots.

But perhaps it is merely the nihilist philosophy adopted by this artist born in Homs in 1987, who recently obtained a degree in plastic arts from the University of Aleppo (2012). This young talent, who took out the first prize in painting and drawing during the sixth exhibition of young artists in Damascus, has already developed a pictorial universe from intense singularity. A very intricate texture, exuding a magnetic energy to express the being’s unbearable mire (or its existential desert), is the signature feature of his paintings.

Artist’s statement

My main aim during the most recent part of my career has been to focus on the notion of space in the artwork. I study its dimensions in relation to abstract elements and its position within these, then the relationship between this entity and the static nature. Together, this relationship constitutes a texture in my head, and creates a vision of how the elements of my painting integrate into the space, and their compatibility with the air and dimensions of this space. In my new pieces, I study the relationship between lines and space, and how they converge with moving elements. Inside this construct, the mobile elements depend on the movement of the air until they fully emerge from the frame and join the previously ignored external space. The existence of a coherent element in the painting which takes over the surface symbolises the accepted, unstable existentiality which, through constant movement, emerges from a silent background space, and which combines with it to occupy a larger area full of animated movements alongside existing elements.

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