Mazen Khaddaj

ARTIST STATEMENT

Inspiration comes to me from human and social interactions; from long nights and long days; from deep sorrow and ultimate joy! I live my life like the wild waves of the sea, yet I end up in my studio just like a ship returning to the shore after a long journey. I sometimes feel like an instrument used by a bigger “force” that disconnects me as a person from what I create. Seeing my works is a quest to understand my true self, and I am indeed a curious soul.

My painting works is a play between shapes, color, texture, transparency and flatness. I paint true moments and real thoughts only visible through human figures. My figures are abstracted, distributed, overlapping and secluded. I am always there in my paintings, as are my connections and relations to everyday life.

Video performances and installations are an extension for my works on canvas.  From still paintings to moving videos, my ideas flow breaking the quality of motionlessness and silence.  I perform as if it were the last chance for me to exist.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Lebanon in 1985, Mazen Khaddaj is a multidisciplinary artist working in painting, performance and video art. He graduated with a BA in graphic design from the American University of Science and Technology in 2008 and worked as an accomplished Art Director for several years in numerous multinational advertising companies before dedicating his time fully to the arts.

Khaddaj is widely known for his distinguished bold colors and strong contour lines in both gouache and acrylic. Khaddaj’s narrative threads follow both his stream of consciousness and also the lines and gestures of the human form.

Khaddaj’s first solo show, ‘Bonds’, was held at ‘Art Circle’ in 2013 followed by his second show, ‘The Middle State’, at ‘392Rmeil393’ Gallery in 2015, both in Beirut. The University of Balamand Gallery invited Khaddaj to showcase his work in March of 2015. In 2015, Khaddaj also showcased his first video installation and started to develop his work as a multidisciplinary artist, encompassing performance, video and installation. ‘Emotion in Motion’ is his third solo show, which took place in August of 2016 at Artspace Hamra, Beirut. The show consisted of paintings and a video installation ‘The Eye’, which is a combination of five videos considering the relationship between the individual and society. The installation is currently on show at the MACAM Museum of Contemporary and Modern Art, Lebanon.

Following that was ‘I am a Foreigner’, his fourth solo show talking about his move to Germany and the struggles of grounding himself in a new country. The exhibition took place in September 2017 at GAPGAP, Leipzig, Germany.

In the fall of 2015, Khaddaj participated in the Pilotekuche Art Residency in Leipzig, Germany where he explored and experimented with new methods and mediums of painting.

Mazen Khaddaj currently lives and works In Leipzig Germany and attends the school of arts in Leipzig at the HGB as a guest student.

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS:

  • “I am a Foregner” at GAPGAP (Leipzig, Germany) | September 2017

  • “Emotion in Motion” at Artspace Hamra (Beirut, Lebanon) | August 2016

  • “The Middle State” at 392Rmeil393 (Beirut, Lebanon) | February 2015

  • “The Middle State” at The University Of Balamand (Balamand, Lebanon) | March 2015

  • “Bonds” at Art Circle (Hamra, Beirut) | April 4 – 25 2013

COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS:

  • “Conversations With Self” at Albareh Art Gallery (Manama, Bahrain) November 2018

  • “42 Contemporary Artists” (Berlin, Germany) September 2018

  • “KUDUS” at Grand Cevahir (Istambul, Turkey) April 2017

  • “Summer collective” at Artspace Hamra (Beirut, Lebanon) July 2016

  • “Hot House” at Pilotenkuche/ Spinnerei (Leipzig, Germany) | September 2015

  • “Compilation2013” at Art Circle (Beirut, Lebanon) | September 26 2013

ART RESIDENCY:

Pilotenkuche International Art Residency (Spinnerie, Leipzig, Germany) | September 1 – December 1 2015

EDUCATION:

BA in Graphic Design at The American University of Science and Technology (Beirut, Lebanon) | 2004 – 2008