Sure, it was the over-imposed image of Klimt's "The Kiss" on a war torn building which got us introduced to Tammam Azzam, and lo and behold, social media went into a (justified) frenzy. But as with everything, they usually fall short of noticing the follow ups. Indeed, there's much more to Tammam Azzam than the Klimt Kiss. All the works above are testimonies of the what easily be the first break out star from the new Syrian generation.
How many exhibitions have been mounted of "Syiran artists" since the beginning of the crisis? Countless! Most of them rubbish. Just haphazard assemblies of works with no cohesion, little interest, no concept or scope - but they got there by virtue of jumping on th "Syrian artist" bandwagon that everyone is paddling these days. But Azzam is of a different texture altogether. Witty, smart and certainly a major part of today's world when everything gets played digitally or via social media (United States, United Nations, United Russia instead of other Arab countries? Or the Olympic graffiti made up of snipers and citizens running from them?). As a matter of fact Azzam declares: "Sometimes I think it's easier to destroy a painting in your studio or get it back from the gallery. But the problem here is when you post something on social media, you can't delete it. Ever. I tried to do that, I deleted three of my artworks but still it's somewhere so you can't. This is the problem here, you are in another sphere, not the real one. So you can't decide anything after posting."
Azzam's loss via social media is our gain.