Nihad Al Turk

Syrian, 1972


Born in Aleppo, Syria in 1972, self-taught artist Nihad Al Turk began to draw at a very young age. Informed by literature and philosophy, many of the artist's deeply psychological compositions can be read as allegorical self-portraits.

Central to his work is a thematic exploration of the endurance of man amidst the struggles of good and evil—an existentialist question that has engrossed the artist for most of his life. Al Turk’s regular cast of imperfect creatures, mythical demons, still lifes, and botanical elements serve as the symbolic outcasts, anti-heroes, and rebels of a harrowing narrative.

Recently, the artist has diverged from the dark palette of his earlier mixed media paintings by injecting vivid hues in the form of solid colour fields to accentuate his figures. This visible jolt of optimism is complimented by protagonists that have a robust physicality and are no longer disfigured as they finally escape the weight of their world.

Nihad Al Turk's artworks have been part of selected solo and group exhibitions worldwide. At the Latakia Biennale in 2003, he was awarded the Golden Prize. The artist currently lives and works in Beirut.