"I've always been obsessed with drawing… the shape of the human body fascinates me; I work with it in my painting… Color is my greatest passion… a small spot of color can have an enormous richness of drama and expression; and create a visual tension,” replies Edward Shahda when asked about his life’s work. ​

Born in Damascus, Edward Shahda (1952) studied at the Suhail Ahdab Center in Hama and the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Damascus University, before undertaking a residency at the Anatoli Klankov Atelier in Russia.

Inspired by folk tales, myths and local icons, Shahda’s almost spiritual themes range from Assyrian figures and Palmyrian sculptures to the lives of poets and even Islamic ornaments. Known for sombre-faced figures that create powerful and emotionally resonant scenes, he also tends to paint the female form. Working in mixed media, acrylic, oil and Indian ink, his pieces exhibit an underlying tension through the thicknesses of the line and the contrast of colors. 

Shahda has had work exhibited in international solo and group exhibitions in Syria, Russia, Lebanon, Egypt, Dubai, Turkey, the US, Canada, France, Switzerland and China. Notable international exhibitions include the Alexandria Biennale, two editions of the Beijing International Art Biennale and the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.