Syrian artist Tammam Azzam creates a ‘hybrid form’ of painting through the application of various media, arriving at interactions between surface and form that borrow and multiply as compositions evolve. Unconventional materials such as rope, clothespins, and other found objects are employed to create depth, texture, and space, achieving a striking balance between ordinary objects and the expanse of the picture plane despite a visible tension.
Following the start of the uprising in Syria, Azzam turned to digital media to create visual composites of the conflict that have resonated with viewers. These widely-distributed works are informed by his interest in the interventionist potential of digital photography and street art as powerful and direct forms of protest that are difficult to suppress. In early 2013, Azzam made worldwide headlines when his work Freedom Graffiti went viral on social media. Enlisting one of the most iconic works of art, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, to protest the country's suffering, he superimposed a recognisable image of love over the walls of war-torn Damascus. Recently, he has returned to painting with Storeys, a series of monumental works that communicate the magnitude of devastation experienced across his native country through expressionist compositions of destroyed structures. Exposing the current state of his homeland to the world, Azzam delves into a therapeutic exercise of reconstruction, storey by storey.
Born in Damascus in 1980, Tammam Azzam lives and works in Dubai. He received his formal training from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus with a concentration in oil painting. Recently, he has participated in solo and group exhibitions at such venues as Dismaland by Banksy, Weston-super-Mare (2015); Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice (2015); Abu Dhabi Festival (2015); Framer Framed in de Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam (2015); Rush Arts, New York (2014); FotoFest Biennial, Houston (2014); Ayyam Gallery London (2013); the 30th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Slovenia (2013); Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai (2012, 2009); Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2011).