Boutros Al Maari

Born 1968 in Damascus, Syria
Lives and works in Hamburg, Germany

Boutros Al Maari was born in 1968 in Damascus, Syria. In 1991 he received his diploma in Graphic Arts from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University. He received his Master in Social Anthropology (EHESS) in 1999 in Paris, where he earned his Doctorate in 2006 in the same fielda. From 2008 to 2012 Boutros worked as a Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University. After having resided for many years in France, Boutros Al Maari has relocated in Hamburg, Germany.

Boutros Al Maari has been a prolific author, writer and cartoonist in many arabic and international newspapers and publications. The artist has also participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide, such as: 2018 Solo exhibition, Galerie Europia, Paris, France; 2017 Solo exhibition, Raum für Syrien, Hamburg, Germany; 2017 Solo exhibition, Tajalliyat Art Gallery, Damascus, Syria; 2016 Aad-Doukkaneh, Solo exhibition, Tajalliyat Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon; 2016: (Shopping carts, selfie sticks and a changing earth – Contemporary Art), Jeddah, K. of Saudi Arabia; 2016  Imago Mundi, Venice, Italy.

Both cultural contexts are reflected in his distinctive paintings. Blending elements of Western and Oriental art, his work captures familiar Damascus haunts like the iconic Al-Nawfara Café. Elsewhere, he places historic Western leaders in settings familiar to Arabic culture, as seen in his painting Louis XIV Playing Mahbousheh (2013).

In his nostalgic, idyllic world, the best of Syria and France are peacefully united. His paintings are rife with references from art history, with titles such as A Tribute to Cézanne (2009) or Van Gogh and Gauguin (2012), all rendered in his unique style, with the figures painted in monochromatic tones and elongated, caricatured faces, set against either starkly dark or stylistically colourful backgrounds, depending on what the scene dictates.