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Phantasmagoric Surrealism — Introducing Mohammad Awwad
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 30 - 01 - 2016

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Mariam Nihal
Saudi Gazette
Mohammad Awwad is a Jordanian artist and graphic designer who recently showcased his work with Loud Art in Jeddah. He currently lives in Amman and is a graduate of the Academy of Arts in Egypt.
In fact, some of his works have become part of the private collection of the modern art museum in Cairo. Unlike the new breed of artists that follows trends and can in the process let their work become unriveting and mind-numbing, Awwad's work is like a breath of fresh air.
Inspiring, unique and stunning- each piece has character, history and a sense of belonging. He plays with various facets of every day life and beyond. The imagery plays with power, nature, politics and social dynamics. But it's not that simple.
It is never one element of surprise. There is a method to the madness. And this is hidden in layers. Each artwork is made in the form of a collage. You can identify the main structure only after you recognize the very different characters in each of his pieces. It feels like piecing together the various episodes of a fragmented dream that speaks to your subconscious.
Awwad also describes his outlook and meaning of every piece in a description below each artwork to be able to communicate to his audience. Speaking to Saudi Gazette, he explained that the work itself is characterized by explicit thoughts, in a way that is similar to written and narrated contexts, which are derived from a stored memory full of visual components and spoken language. "Albeit occasional conflicts, seriousness and dangers contained in each theme, I tried to express through every artwork a magnitude of pulsatile colourful joy and happiness," he told Saudi Gazette. During the Loud Art exhibition, which is a platform for emerging Middle Eastern artists in the region, Awwad was able to provide through his work- an intellectual understanding to many controversial issues such as politics, authority, environment and culture. "That was easily achieved by the inspiration from ongoing political events and the unbelievable circumstances in Gaza and the Arab World in general.
Additionally, inspiration from the deficient gaps in women literacy in some societies and the effects of global warming. Each artwork represents a fantasy scenario with multiple elements." Awwad was passionate about painting and drawing since his childhood. "I used to try and paint on anything my hands can reach really.
Joining the Academy of arts, gave me an excellent opportunity to try different types of arts, such as installation in space, painting and collage. Ultimately, I embarked on the digital form of collage. So far I have been working as a senior graphic designer for past 10 years or so. During such time, my job has actually helped me to professionally develop, consolidate and emphasize the role played by my creative ideas to continuously generate new artwork. I also have several national and international exhibition contributions, awards and prizes."Awwad works with the digital medium using design programs like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. "I occasionally use my professional digital camera, that is because it's modern and an efficient method to show my concepts." Talking about inspiration, he said he gets it from a novel or a story about an event that is related to him or a friend."
Usually, when I come up with an idea, I start mentally percolating it then I write down or describe the artwork and its components. Once that's complete as I feel it's ready to be executed, I commence working to convert the idea into a perceived visual art." Admitting he works well with "surrealism" as a theme, he goes on to talk about the changing art scene in the Middle East. "There is an emerging evidence of change in the Middle East with a new collection of Arts in many fields. There is an equally increasing interest in art and design dealing with different problems through artwork. Means of mass media communication are nowadays prevailing, that allow for special self-expressions artistically." He believes art is an open field for every artist to present their ideas and the way he/she would express them. "Artists should have the absolute freedom to express his/her ideas but equally in a respectful and considerate means that neither insult believes and religions nor provoke racial hatred." Discussing his dream project, he said: "Producing a piece of work that spreads rapidly and globally to communicate an important message through such work." His main goal is to be able to reach to the ever-increasing number of followers and fans interested in the nature of his work through his website and art exhibitions in several shows across Europe and North America. Currently the artist is working on a new concept about fashion victims, with a ‘real' model and a local photographer.
Instagram: @mo_art

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