Introducing Adel Dauood

From his early years Adel Dauood showed a natural flair and talent for artistic expression, taking up drawing in his fifth grade at school and participating in numerous painting competitions. This nascent interest was nurtured and inspired by those close to him who gave him the freedom to experiment and explore. Adel went on to study fine arts in his hometown of Al-Hasakah in Syria and later in Damascus where he lived until 2014.

“My paintings are for me a kind of rebellious reaction to all the fights that are going on all around the world,” explains Adel. “They are also an inner monolog about my despair towards this. My paintings invite the viewer to a dialog about my memories, full of color and unrest from my war tormented home country, Syria.”

Adel came to Vienna as a refugee fleeing the ongoing civil war, struggling to adapt at first to a new environment and cramped living conditions sharing a room with nine others. Eventually his talent provided him with the break he needed thanks to an art project for contemporary artists in Austria called “The Future of Painting”. Out of some 750 entrants Adel’s work was selected. This exposure gave him a springboard to solo exhibitions in Turkey, Austria, Denmark and group exhibitions in NY, Berlin, London and Beirut.

Since finding his feet in Vienna and on the European art scene, Adel’s practice has evolved and changed from the style of work he produced in his Syrian homeland. There he was inspired by his classical artistic education in Syria and the character and atmosphere of his hometown, working predominantly with yellow, red and green to capture the distinctive essence of place.

Today he describes his work as “New Expressionism”, explaining that, “it’s the state of mind and the place that change, it’s the place that will have an effect on your work in a way or another”. His recent paintings remind of the work of Egon Schiele or Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, with colour frequently used to invite contemplation and deeper engagement. Adel sees himself as a messenger with his viewers as spectators, communicating both his own vulnerabilities and universal concerns through the humble medium of the canvas.

“There is an internal mania that needs to be engaged in a contemporary artistic way”, Adel explains when describing his artistic practice. “I’m not giving a solution but expressing my sadness in my work.” Viewers cannot help but be drawn into Adel’s own emotions and deepest inner thoughts, which in turn provokes a consideration of their own experiences.

In many of his works, reality coexists with fantasy; hazy figures and barely distinguishable features mingle with vortexes of bodies, lines and bold colours. The viewer is invited to try to make sense of Adel’s creations, just as we all must make sense of the disordered and chaotic world we see around us, and ponder the true nature of humanity which is at once both divine and demonic.