Youssef Abdelké

Syria 1950. Lives and works in Damascus.

Youssef Abdelké returned to Syria in 2005 after spending 25 years of compelled exile in France. In 2013 he was detained for several weeks by the Syrian regime. His work is known for its sinister undertones and unique symbolism exposing the brutalities of life. His early ink drawings were full of symbols conveying clear-cut political messages. The ‘People’ series from the 1980-90s expressed oppression in the Arab world with its images of jails, guards, and crowds of people.

“I revealed the darkness I felt inside in my ‘People’ series. This helped me move on to more positive and peaceful projects.”