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HOME : Contemporary Art : Dr. Eyad Al Masri : Untitled
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Untitled - AJ.077
Origin: Jordan

Collection: Contemporary

Location: United States
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These original oil paintings are profoundly influenced by Dr. Al Masri’s unique background in art and archaeology. Inspired by his research in the ancient civilizations, Al Masri’s works reflect the cultural forces that have shaped the Middle East region: Assyrian, Mesopotamian, Sumerian, Persian, African, Egyptian, and Nabatean. His works are abundant with ancient symbols, hieroglyphs, early Arabic writing, cuneiform inscriptions, and ancient icons - sometimes juxtaposed with contemporary themes and symbols taken from the world around him. Modern images such as a playful kite, a whimsically curved palm tree, or a graffiti-like arrow are placed alongside symbols and icons central to ancient civilizations, such as those representing fertility and immortality. The viewer is easily drawn in, attempting to decipher and connect the hidden meanings in his work. The visual interplay of the past and present merges together to create incredibly original and innovative art.

Al Masri’s non-traditional medium and technique further emphasize the spirit of the ancients. Hist works are not just painted, but carved and sculptural in appearance. In lieu of a canvas, he works on a specially prepared wooden panel. Using wood carving tools, he skillfully carves his images and designs, resulting in works that closely resemble ancient tablets or carvings in both texture and appearance. His masterful use of oil paint with colors rich in warm earth tones, combined with fresh and confident brushstrokes, complete the unconventional and powerful works of art.

With a subject befitting a Jordanian artist and archaeologist, Dr. Al Masri’s doctoral work focused on the Nabateans, whose civilization flourished in the first-century B.C. throughout Northwest Arabia, its capitol at Petra in present- day Jordan. Al Masri’s thesis, centered on the sculptural representations and mythology of Nabatean deities, provides rich inspiration for many of his paintings. His works pulse with the Nabatean theme; several of the effigies unearthed in the region of Petra are brilliantly interpreted and adapted to appear prominently in his work. Combining art and archaeology, there is an obvious visual connection between this 2000 year-old city that was carved into stone and Al Masri’s work – further emphasized by the fact that his paintings themselves seem to be carved into stone. His splendid use of ancient symbols and icons and his unique technique brings the past clearly into the present, reacquainting the viewer with history that should never be forgotten.

In addition to his academic credentials, he is an accomplished artist, having exhibited his work to great acclaim in Austria, Kuwait, Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. His paintings can be found in an impressive number of private collections across Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, and the Gulf countries. Presently, he serves as an assistant professor of Ancient Civilizations at Hashemite University in Jordan, passing on his great admiration for the Ancients to his students.

In his paintings, Dr. Eyad captures the spirit and strength of antiquity and brings it full force to the viewer with his every brushstroke and design. He interprets the past and the present, bringing both together in truly unique and mesmerizing works. One cannot help but be in awe of the creative genius and originality in the paintings of Dr. Eyad Al Masri. He is inspired by the past, but not held to tradition. His work must be seen and, like the history of the Ancients, it will be remembered. -- Jeanne Whatley, Caravan Galleries - (AJ.077)


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