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The Globe and Mail

Syrian artists mixes masterpieces with destruction

Tammam Azzam has superimposed iconic Western works onto photos of his war-torn home country

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Tammam Azzam, born in Damascus in 1980, creates poignant digital composites that superimpose masterpieces of Western art by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Henri Matisse and Goya onto recent photographs of the destroyed landscapes of Syria. (”Syrian Spring.” Archival print on cotton paper. Edition of 5, 2012.)

Courtesy the artist and Ayyam Gallery.

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“Freedom Graffiti.” 150x150cm, Archival Print, 2012, Edition of 5. Courtesy of the artist and Ayyam Gallery

Courtesy the artist and Ayyam Gallery.

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A desolate refugee camp is infused with the deep pinks of a Gauguin painting in “Syrian Museum” (Paul Gauguin's Tahitian Women On the Beach). 45x40 cm. Archival Print on Canvas 2012. Courtesy the artist and Ayyam Gallery.

Courtesy the artist and Ayyam Gallery.

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“Syrian Museum” (Andy Warhol Elvis-1). Archival print on canvas, 2012.

Courtesy the artist and Ayyam Gallery.

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In one of the works (not pictured), an image of Goya’s The Third of May 1808, depicting Spanish resistance fighters at the moment of their execution by Napoleon’s occupying army, is layered over a photograph of a damaged Syrian building. “Syria is living the Third of May every day,” Mr. Azzam has said, “and no one stops it.” (Pictured: We' ll Stay Here. Archival print on cotton paper, 2012. Edition of 5.)

Courtesy the artist and Ayyam Gallery.

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