ELIAS IZOLI・Damascus

Born in Damascus, Syria in 1976, Elias Izoli lives and works in the city. Izoli has exhibited regularly since 1993, and was included in exhibitions at Ayyam Gallery Beirut and Dubai in 2010, 2012, and 2013.

Elias Izoli is a self-taught painter whose creativity was harnessed at an exceptionally young age. In Damascus, his talent was recognised early on and he was given a solo exhibition at the Russian Cultural Centre at age seventeen. With consummate draftsmanship, a marked command of colour, and an intensive approach to capturing his subjects, Izoli’s compositions defy conventional portraiture. Colour is meticulously distributed and contrasted in sections, creating volume and dimension, and serves as an emotive indicator, while different uses of texture and clear divisions of the painting’s surface allow the viewer to enter the psychological depth of his subject matter.

Recently, the impact of the Syrian war has inspired him to produce psychologically laden portraits of children caught in the crossfire of violence. Although his young protagonists are rendered with small areas of colour, suggesting a broken, destabilised state, they stare directly at the viewer, demonstrating determination.