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Born in Damascus in 1964, Bassem Dahdouh studied art at the University of Damascus and received his PhD from Egypt’s Helwan University. His sombre paintings explore the trials and tribulations of human existence, capturing human-animal hybrid figures caught in the excesses of emotion. Initially depicting his figurative paintings in a realistic technique, his more recent work is preoccupied with composition in which contrasting elements of graphic elements with colour come to the fore. In addition to teaching fine arts at Damascus University and the Arab International University, he has held numerous solo shows across the Middle East, including in Damascus, Beirut, Alexandria, Tunis and Kuwait. He also participated in international group shows in Istanbul, Tehran, Canada, Bulgaria, Geneva and Cairo.