Born in 1952, Edward Shahda is a contemporary Syrian artist and sculptor. He began his creative journey in 1968 at the Suheil Ahdab Centre in Hamma before joining the Faculty Of Fine Arts in Damascus (1971-1976). He then resided at the Anatoli Klankov Atelier in Russia (1991-1992).
As early as 1980, his work had been on display at numerous prestigious international solo and group exhibitions in Syria, Russia, Lebanon, Egypt, Dubai, Turkey, USA, Canada, France, Switzerland and China. More recent exhibitions include the Beinalle exhibition in China in 2005 and 2008, as well as The Institute of The Arab World exhibition in Paris in 2008.
His work ranges from acrylic and oil paintings to collages and China ink on rice paper. It exposes an underlying tension in line thicknesses and colour contrast. Surfaces of strong, lively colours often fade out and blurry outlines come together to create vaguely defined shapes with colour gradations. Figurative and symbolic shapes, portraiture, and female figures are predominant. To Shahda, the human subject is the main concern in painting, and colour treatment and juxtapositions are his preoccupation during the painting process. Figures are central to his painting. They define the expression of space and frame the meaning of "place".
Shahda is unconventional in his representation of women. His paintings often feature vibrant and emotional images inspired from real life scenes. He bends and breaks perspective, favouring strong, contrasting and dynamic colours to powerfully project emotion. Moreover, symbolism and mythology is a key component for Shahda when exploring contemporary themes, as a way of adding depth and meaning to his pieces.