Youssef Abdelke, ‘Untitled’, 2013, Meem Gallery

About Youssef Abdelke

Youssef Abdelke’s hyperrealistic charcoal works on paper evoke a nation at war as they attempt to “express the concerns and emotions of the ordinary Syrian citizen amid this huge river of blood,” says the artist, referring to his native country’s recent history. His carefully rendered still lifes are splattered with red paint and often include overt memento mori such as skulls, bones, and even a heart impaled on a nail. Abdelke lived in Paris from 1981 through 2005 and attended the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. However, he was later forbidden from leaving Syria after his passport was confiscated and he was arrested for his activism.

Syrian, b. 1951, Al-Qamishli, Syria, based in Damascus, Syria

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