Born 1952 in Damascus. He is one of the pillars of the Homs Group. Perhaps Shahda is the most consistent colour artist in the Syrian art scene. Occasionally, he is compared to Pierre Bonard. The richness of his memory nourishes the flow of his spiritual themes, from Assyrian icons to Palmyrian sculptures, legends, poet biographies and Islamic ornaments. Shahda is a totalitarian, pluralistic and secular artist despite the spiritual depth of his saturated colours.

In an elitist way, he communicates with contemporary and modern avant-gardists in Europe, especially with the great colour artists such as Henri Matisse, Bonard, Chagall and Kupka. From the works of these artists he draws the dynamics of the colour relations corresponding to the music, the manifold colour climate, the diversity of their components and the nature of their structures. He seeks paradisiacal hymns in which the fiery songs are extinguished in the blue of the ocean and swim in the volcano of the yellow, in the passions of the grey and the joie de vivre of the purple. Some critics say he paints dream-like worlds.

By Dr. Asaad Arabi

Edward’s Words

« I’ve always been obsessed with drawing. I don’t know exactly when I first felt this urge, but I do know that I had it since I was young and quiet. Why draw? … I just don’t know. The shape of the human body fascinates me, I work with it in my painting and it accompanies me in my life’s work. Art is a field for delight and pain, and the painting is a white space to give form to thoughts and to create new ones. Time and space determine my painting. Colour is my greatest passion. …. It is my only means of expression, which is why I apply it with great care to the surface of the painting. My works consist of music and colour. A small spot of colour can have an enormous richness of drama and expression and create a visual tension. What always tires me are those beautiful forms that appear on the surface of the painting and refuse to harmonize with the rest of the work, so that I see only two possibilities, either the destruction of the beauty of the work or the complete destruction of the work in favour of its integrity. By placing the signature, I release the painting. »

Contemporary Art in Syria 2019