The work of Syrian artist Kais Salman seeks to challenge prevalent ideas of beauty and materialism in Middle Eastern art and society. Distorted, almost grotesque, naked forms - their large, tapered faces carried atop undersized voluptuous bodies - underscore the artificiality of the female body image and rage against the increasing commodification of women in Syrian society. Nearly monochromatic with crimson accents, his subjects are dangerous creatures, their rotund fecundity and corporeal vulnerability is countered by items such as a holstered dagger or gun in a lace garter.
Born in Tartous, Syria in 1976, Kais Salman lives and works in Damascus. In May 2010, a work from his Fashion Series appeared on the cover of the Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Edition magazine, a first for an Arab artist. His paintings are currently housed in private collections throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Selected solo exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2012); Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2010); Ayyam Gallery Damascus (2010). Selcted Group exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai (2011; 2010); The Park Avenue Armory, New York (2008); Carthage Festival for Coast Mediterranean Sea Artists, Tunisia (2005); Damascus Museum of Modern Art.