A Saudi Artist Explores the Syrian War Through “The Shades of Humanity” Exhibition

Walk into the Acoustic Art gallery in Riyadh and you will no doubt be struck with the tumultuous yet sorrowful works of Dr. Tarif Sioufi’s latest exhibition, “The Shades of Humanity.” As reported by Arab News, the former architect turned painter has created 15 pieces that broadly explore human pain and suffering that have become part of everyday life for people caused by “current events in the Arab world.” With his latest body of work, Dr. Sioufi looks specifically at the events of the Syrian conflict.

“The exhibition is a look at individuals and their reactions to everyday life,” the artist said. Sioufi, who is originally Syrian, uses a range of colors to express his mood and feelings. I expressed myself through art, giving the paintings life through color. Each one has a sense of identification through certain colors. There are days an individual is yellow, green, pink or white. In addition, the movement varies. You can tell the reaction of the person,” he explained to the news site.

For the past 14 years, Dr. Sioufi has focused on his artwork and paintings, creating hundreds of striking pieces. The artist sees his focus on art as an outlet for him to express the many and complex feelings that arise from conflict and human anguish, saying, “Art is in my blood. From a blank canvas you can create a masterpiece and this is quite difficult […] There are days I work on three paintings, and only one of them I consider mature enough to display. Painting is personal, and I am my biggest critic.”

“Life is colorful, it’s a flower bouquet with different shades […] It’s the same with the gathering of people. You can see the reactions of people when they gather, and I tried to express that in my paintings for the shades of humanity,” he continued.

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