Bassem Dahdouh was born in 1964 in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Damascus in 1981. Bassem holds both a Master’s Degree and PhD from the University of Helwan in Egypt. Dahdouh is a member in Syndicate of Fine Arts, Syria as well as a member in Arab Artists League.
In his series the ‘humanoid bull’, the artist uses mixed media on various mediums to create his art pieces. Newspapers, ink, water colour or acrylics rhyme together in a flowing harmony to create striking images.
The artworks illustrate the awkward societal transformation that is ongoing, but incomplete. The earthy colour palette implies that the hybrid being is in an ever-changing, nebulous state.
For the past eight years the artist has tried to reflect on the events of the war that have affected the souls, minds and feelings of everyday Syrian people. Dahdouh highlights the issue of over-production in the developed world, when billions of those less-fortunate lack the most basic of needs elsewhere.
He won his first prize in 1979 for an oil painting. Since then he participated in many solo and group exhibitions both locally and internationally throughout the 1980s and 1990s and has obtained recognition both in the Arab and international art worlds. From 2000, Bassem exhibited in many countries including Egypt, Jordan, Switzerland, UAE, Italy and France.
The message from Bassem Dahdouh:
“The only truth about art is that there is nothing absolute. There is always the invitation there for the artist and the audience to experiment and enjoy the art in their own way.
In my paintings there are no taboos. I always try to make it an adventure for the soul as I believe in the non-static nature of art.
At first glance, a painting cannot convey its full meaning. You need to slow down. Only then can you start communicating with the piece.
In this collection, the humanoid bull is an injection of pain and suffering into the canvas. It is an indirect analogy of frustration that corrupts its own character and personality.
The creature has no gender or persona, it is not definitively a bull or a human, but arrested in between. It portrays us, oppressed when reaching out for a breath of fresh air in an attempt to lead normal lives.
It is my hope that we as humanity would succeed and plant some kindness and compassion in this land before it is too late.”