Syrian artist Abdul Karim Majdal Al-Beik places the city of Damascus and the Syrian political situation at the center of his work. His painterly compositions seek hidden stories amongst the multitude of graffiti, etchings, marks and cracks of the walls of Damascus’s Old City. Recognising this patina as means of examining local history, Majdal Al-Beik carefully replicates its textures, colors, and shapes, employing the exact materials that are used in the construction of these ancient Damascene facades. With a limited palette of white, black and grey, he reconfigures these two dimensional surfaces with charcoal, plaster, starch and ash, creating fissures where these materials collide. In recent years, Majdal Al-Beik’s practice has evolved to incorporate a wider palette with the inclusion of additional elements such as small crosses, fabric strips, string, guns and knives; a response to the on-going turmoil afflicting Syria.
Born in a small village on the outskirts of Al-Hasakah, Syria in 1973, Abdul Karim Majdal Al- Beik trained at the Faculty of Fine Arts Damascus. His works are housed in public and private collections throughout the Middle East and Europe and he has been the recipient of several awards, including those from the Lattakia Biennale and the Shabab Ayyam competition for emerging artists. Solo exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2013); Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2012) and Ayyam Gallery Damascus (2008). Group exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai (2009); Tehran Biennale for Art in the Islamic World (2005); Unesco Palace, Beirut (2001).