Kais Salman

Syrian, 1976


Kais Salman is one of Syria’s renowned expressionist painters who contributes to a decades-long artistic tradition that continues to serve as a powerful outlet for social commentary. Best described as monochromatic, abstract expressionism, his work incorporates satire to subvert the normalisation of greed, narcissism, and ideological extremism that is rapidly defining our era.

Salman received a Bachelor of Art from the Faculty of Fine Arts, at the University of Damascus in 2002, where he trained with leading painters such as Safwan Dahoul.

Since the early 2000s, Salman has sought to reflect the psychological violence that occurs when excess becomes rationalised and accepted by society. Seeking to confront and exorcise sociocultural manifestations of depravity, the artist unearths a world of ugliness and abjection through intentionally hyperbolised imagery accentuated by punches of colour and aestheticised forms. Political corruption, terrorism, consumerism, cosmetic surgery, religious fanaticism, imperialism, and the voyeurism of the digital age have all served as topics of Salman’s carnivalesque compositions. 

Kais Salman's artworks are part of collections throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. The artist has been featured in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and was listed for the second time in Arabian Business 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40 in 2016. His works have furthermore been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions worldwide. The artist currently lives and works in Syria.