“I was a little lonely, or maybe I was bored, but what I remember, at the age of 10, [is that] I tried to make some people, out of stones,” recalls Syrian artist Yamen Youssef. This was the beginning of his exploration into sculptural materials, which was influenced by his environment of forested mountains. Playing with rocks, mud, clay and wood, he had discovered a way to imaginatively recreate the world around him.
Born in Tartous (1982), Yamen Yousef graduated with his BA and Master’s degree from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Sculpture, Damascus University. In his distinct style, his figures have broad faces and heavily built bodies, carved from wood. Their postures and anatomy are rendered to be expressive, poetic and sometimes whimsical, giving them a sense of softness and even optimism.
Yamen Yousef’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Syria and Lebanon. It was also included in the ‘Reconciliation Through the Arts’ programme in Washington DC, New York, Texas and New Mexico, USA.