Edward Shahda, ‘Icarus 17’, 2014, Art On 56th

“Painting has always been my biggest
concern, yet I can't pinpoint when it
started to preoccupy me. It has been a
necessity since my early childhood…
and has remained ever since.
Why painting? I simply do not know. But
it drives me.
The representation of the human
subject is my obsession. I've been
treating it through painting and reflection
throughout my lifetime. And I'm sure it
will continue to be something I explore
as long as I live.
Art is a playground of bliss and pain. An
area of gravity and play. Across the
canvas is a white space asking to be
filled with one's apprehensions,
thoughts and emotions.
Place and time play an important role in
the creation of my paintings. The forms
that I paint do not belong to a specific
time. They are outside the framework of
time, yet nowhere. They are often the
place itself (and define it) since there is
no place without form, and no form
without a place.
Color is my biggest preoccupation.... For
it is my only tool for expression. I take
special care to prepare the color for
each painting. The visual tension issued
by a specific color, by its proximity to
others, tempts me... I believe that a
small spot of color can carry a vaster
amount of drama and expression than a
whole novel.
What always exhausts me are the
recklessly beautiful shapes and forms
spawned on canvas, violating the
harmony of the rest of the fabric. So I
am faced to two choices: either
eliminating them, and, therefore, losing
their charm, or destroying the whole
At the end of the day, I wipe out the

defiant color for the sake of the whole,
and start anew, with Sisyphean options
that end only when one of us is tired…
so I sigh, and from here, release the
Edward Shahda, 4/10/2012

About Edward Shahda

Syrian, b. 1952, Damascus, Syria

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