Love, Kindness, and Beauty dwell in human spirit since time immemorial and they are the secrets of its absolute happiness. Love guarantees continuation of mankind. Kindness is what distinguishes us from rest of creatures. Beauty is the garden of soul and mind, in which we plant creativity and from which we reap lust.
Three words and three meanings boil down the experience of Wadhah Al-Sayed. He paints time away from the geographical boundaries laden with historical and cultural ideas. He relaxes in the corners of ages to embody inscription, architecture, taste, and tune. Tales told by roads leading to heritage and history, to enflame imagination and to rest in the distant horizon paintings and noises from past to present. He is inspired by strong possibilities of history and creativity of civilization, and the stories and secrets, to mimic scenes, stories, or senses.
The painter worries his imagination, and begins from the Orient by which he was inspired by (Baraqesh) with a paint integrating human face with animal. Also, the relationship of poems and poetry through the paint “Shiraz Moon” to illustrate Al-Biati’s famous poem, and “Breast Childhood”, the poem of Nizar Qabbani, in addition to poems of Muzaffar Al-Nawab, and Adonis.
He travels to India to innovate a new (Baharta) and (Kali), and then a Nirvana from Japan, a Nefertiti of Egypt, and an (Olympia) from Greece. From the Spanish culture he takes (Tango) and from Africa brings (Faya). He wants to confirm that art is not attached to a race or a gender, and that there are no borders between human beings. He asserts the need for a way to accelerate the world’s prosperity and stability in all its diversity, disagreement and specific vocabulary. He calls for harmony and balance in everything in our community.
Thus, Wadhah presents his artworks to the recipient without losing their general features and key bases, as well as imagined elements, symbols and forms all breathe a quaint and beautiful spontaneous spirit. The artist creates his aesthetic world based on the study of relationship between color, music, color and lines, to create their own world to present his style saturated with bright colors and reflections. Wadhah Al-Sayed was born in Damascus in 1969, and won the first prize for best painting in Syria for the year 1980.
He graduated from Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus in 1990, and was selected as a representative of Syrian art to America in 1996. He studied fashion design, and worked as a caricaturist at Mira and Tokous magazines since 2000. He designed and painted International Painters series in 1997, and founded Al-Sayed Art House in 1998.
He is a full-time art teacher, and he invented a new clay material to make sculptural works in 2004. He wrote “Spiritual Techniques to Learn Drawing” in 2007, and has many individual and collective exhibitions. His works are distributed in national museums of Damascus, Kuwait, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Canada, USA, France, Switzerland, Denmark, and Spain. In your book, “Spiritual Techniques to Learn Drawing”, you say “draw yourself then you’ll draw your painting”. What do you mean?
Each painting has its own colors, and each soul has its own colors. Also, each painting has its own composition, and each soul has its own composition. There are no particular boundaries separating you from your painting. Painting is a mirror of human soul. They are interconnected similar to a fetus in the womb of its mother. Steps followed to prepare a painting are matched by similar and preceding steps to draw you. Inside you there is a wandering soul which you do not own because you do not know.
Before you can learn drawing you must purify and educate this soul. Soul education is different from mind education, because it takes from the mind and then differs with it.
How do you choose themes of your paintings? Is there a touching story or an expression of suffering? The theme of any painting is not a text and it is a big mistake to be so. It is not a painter’s task; it is the task of a writer. Color is the painter’s message and theme is primarily optical depending on colors, lines, and not on the explanation and interpretation as in any text.
It is similar to music; when you hear any musical piece there are overtones which incite images stored in your imagination and you live an artistic experience; half of which is offered by music and the other half is provided by your imagination. How do you paint this optical music in your works? You are to mobilize your imagination at its best, in order to produce a composition from your stored memory and the memory of your soul.
What is the memory of soul? It is the way by which soul wants to see the world. Any place which the soul likes to imagine, to inhibit and to add to. Your soul memory is a new secret world that no one can reach but you. It is a haven. Commenting on Wadhah works, Prof. Mahmoud Shaheen says: “Al-Sayed deals with the themes of his paintings with a captivating color transparency saturated with light.
He uses light, warm, and transparent colors. It is noted that there are many influences in his paintings from known artistic experiences in Syrian and global art, and this is a normal and healthy phenomenon. Vulnerability and impact is a characteristic feature of art because the eye is the main tool.
The painter confirms this when he says: “In the first years of my experience I used to like a painter than others, or a school over another, but as my experience evolves my intellect evolves too, and consequently this led me to a new understanding of the meaning of the word “best”. Now, I prefer every new and unique work, away from ostentation and naïve pretence.