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Mohamad Labash

Mohamad Labash

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Mohamad Labash

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This piece by Mohamad Labash belongs to a series of paintings called ‘Reminiscence of Faces’. Labash’s portraits are a powerful representation of captivity and dehumanisation, as the subjects’ faces are obstructed by abstract strokes of paint. Like much of his other work, it is difficult for one to look at this portrait without noting the presence of an underlying socio-political commentary. The artist himself claims that his own work is a ‘comment on human nature’, and this thoughtful artistic reflection is very much apparent here. 


This sense of interiority is made evident in this series of portraits as Syrian-born Labash delves deep into the psychology of physical and emotional trauma. His subjects look young—too young—and their expressions are tinted with an unambiguous loss that pulls their faces into a downwards frown. Labash’s brushwork creates an overwhelming sense of turbulence as the subjects are covered in bright bloodied shades of red. 


Equally jarring is the claustrophobic sense of entrapment, as the figure is centred on the canvas, while a grid of bars arches inwards from the background towards the centre, as though to envelop and capture the subject into imprisonment.