The Modern Face of Syria: Imranovi's art of war
9 December 2015
Modern Face of Syria is a new exhibition tackling the horrors of the bloody and complex Syrian civil war - the work of exiled Syrian artist Imranovi. Bold, savagely witty and uncompromising, his artwork offers an insider's take on the human cost of war.
Imranovi (not his real name) is a Syrian artist in exile, now living in Dubai. His first UK solo exhibition, Modern Face of Syria, is hosted by Art Represent - an organisation that offers a platform and support for artists affected or displaced by conflict and social upheaval.
Imranovi began working with computer graphics while still resident in Syria, but the civil war between President Bashar al-Assad's forces, his pro-democracy opponents and the self-styled Islamic State motivated him to produce graphics with a more political edge.
He was particularly moved by the 2012 Houla massacre in the city of Homs where over 45 women and children died. It was this incident that pushed him to create this collection.
In particular, the work Medals of Honour is a caustic criticism of Assad, who is awarded honours for destroying his people and the country.
Oppression, starvation and mass destruction fuelled Imranovi's protests and activism, but the stark choice between forced enrolment in Assad's army or forsaking his country of birth, resulted in him leaving Syria.
Concern for the safety of Imranovi and the family he left behind in Syria still persists. Despite this, his purpose in producing this work is to ask the viewer to take time to think about the human lives caught up in the war.
While the western world debates what to do about Assad and Islamic State, Imranovi wants us to remember that the bloody civil war rages on.
The Modern Face of Syria exhibition will be on view until 22 December 2015 at Art Represent, 264 Globe Road, London E2 0JD.