Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Artist in Old Town, Damascus
Mahmoud Shahin is a artist and writer born in Jerusalem and grew up in the countryside where his father was a farmer until his land was confiscated. He has lived in Jordan but has made Damascus his home for many years. He doesn't write much as he could not get his ideas past the censors. He says authorities are afraid of words but not of pictures. For example, he could not write about the devil but could could paint pictures with the devil in them.
He is holding a painting I bought from him which shows a woman in a robe on the left side and a series of woman's faces on the right side. The top face is wrapped in a scarf, the next face is all covered but the eyes, the third face has only one eye showing, and the bottom image is a woman's head completely covered in black. He calls this the evolution of the Muslim woman. Indeed, you see woman walking in the city heat covered completely in black, there entire face covered and even black gloves, with no skin showing.