One of our great traditions at Mesopotamian Night has been show casing and live auctioning of Assyrian artists. This year, with the help of cinematographer Sargon Saadi, who visited Khabour Valley in Syria and documented the atrocities committed by ISIS, we will show case and auction a piece by Fadi Khiyo.
Fadi Khiyo is an Assyrian painter known for his unique large-size expressionistic portraits. Born in the Khabour Valley of Syria in1982, Khiyo graduated from Al-Hassake Institute of Arts in 2002. He had many art exhibitions before he finally earned his certification from Al-Adham Esmael School of Abstract Art in Damascus.
Despite the war in Syria, Khiyo refused to flee the country, until ISIS kidnapped many of his relatives from Khabour in 2015. After they were released in 2016, Khiyo fled with his family to Lebanon as refugees where he continues to paint.
“The face mirrors the person’s soul,” says Khiyo. His most impressive work focuses entirely on portraits of unknown people. While he rarely talks about the motivation of his art, the sudden death of his father triggered a radical shift in his style.
Having lived through the modern Assyrian genocide, Khiyo noticed a dramatic change in people’s demeaner. “I started seeing people’s inner conflicts and fears on a deeper level,” Khiyo explains, “These paintings are how I see them now”.
The disoriented facial expressions, limited use of color, and strong emphasis on form are the hallmarks of Fadi Khiyo’s work. After a long shipping process from Syria, only five of his paintings are available in the U.S. One of the pieces will be auctioned at Mesopotamian Night 2017 in San Jose, California on October 7th.
For more information about the artist, email Sargon Saadi (email@example.com)