Raafat Ballan (born in Al Sweidaa, Syria, 1990) graduated from Damascus University in 2014.
His explorations into diverse painting techniques and the expressive semi-figurative compositions are revealing
the emotional world of the subjects and the objects of interest in his oeuvre.
He reveals an expressionistic, daring and at the same time highly sensitive approach to the medium through his portraits.
The displayed works draw us into reflections about the (in)human states of mind in which many, struggling under the crimes
of repressive regimes, corrupted leaders and warfare campaigns, are having to put up with.
His canvases are confronting us with who we are and what makes us the way we are – freaks appearing to be “human”
or humans fallen into state of animality. Haven't we learned our lessons so far about the consequences of the
irresponsible actions to support ever failing and corrupt political and economic conditions? How many of us
keep swallowing daily the offered portion of indoctrination by the same enslaved employees, working for the same
ruthless corporations, feeding on the same neverending marketing, financial and war campaigns, provided with the help
of the same political “elite”, smiling from yet the same tv and computer screens?! Like the author mentions in his own words:
“In the age of photography, I try to make things that cannot be copied or captured with a lens, only with a human eye.
There is a sense of another being that I cannot fix in a photograph. In front of a lens, people are on guard and superficial –
you only see the surface. I want to catch them off guard, in a moment of truth. I deliberately seek the mystery of things I don't understand in other people's faces.”
And there they are - these portraits, a wake-up call for a better world where we will be able to live together in peace and understanding.