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Born in Damascus in 1976, Elias Izoli is a self-taught painter whose creative talents were realized at a young age. In 1993 he held his first solo exhibition at the Russian Cultural Centre in Damascus at the age of 17, and he has since exhibited at Ayyam Gallery in Beirut and Dubai in 2010, 2012 and 2013. His intricate paintings of children caught in the crossfire of political violence are executed in startlingly vivid colours, creating emotionally laden portraits in compositions that defy conventional portraiture. His unique and bold use of colour, applied through gestural and fragmented brushstrokes, enhances the loss and sadness portrayed in his subjects’ expression. The artist lives and works in Damascus.