The Syrian Graphic Artist Yaser Al Safi:
When The Hand is Set Free on The Canvas.

Muhammad Al-Ameri 2005

The Syrian artist Yaser Al-Safi is confidently moving forward his artistic exceedings based on earnest researches within two contradictory areas: the area of engraving and its laws, and the vast area of painting conjoined with ecstasy and the act of flying over the canvas surface.

Through his visual inventions Safi remains an earnest artist who surpasses many generations preceding him. Thus, we realize that the fineness of artistic work and its advancement are not related to age, but rather to the genius of the artist and how earnestly he deals with his talent and its revelations. Yaser Al-Safi is one of those artists who took their work very seriously. This is noticeable from the obvious presence of his personal experience displayed on the walls of his exhibition. In his exhibitions he shows the mood of engraving side by side the mood of painting in a very powerful, yet beautiful, way. His works reflect his true artistic mood, whether through the painted palette or through the acid engravings. Between these two areas there is a common space for clever participation related to elements and methods of form which depend on liberation from decorating the scene with ornamentalism, in order to go straight to its expressive essence based on flying and floating creatures, orbiting both the surface of the canvas and the engraved text. The human element coexists with animals and mythological creatures, as if the artist were attempting to study the lines of those figures as a mere visual matter in which lines intersect and meanings differ. It is as if a child tries to make his own toys and dream puppets which take him to a mysterious joy of a certain childhood, the childhood of the immaculate eye and its dialogue with the visible and the imaginary.

The human being presents the movement that leads to lines governed by balances of the surface. For example, we see the head functions as a thought-of weight that keeps the balance of the figure's delicacy and its fragility. Ultimately the figure is but an unlimited space of generated lines, as if we were before a weaver making our way through the threads of his textile. All that leads us to plentiful and various tones, each having its transformations whether painted or engraved. What is really amazing about his engravings is that Al-Safi has reached the stage of direct scratching over the surface of the metal, i.e. dealing with zinc. As if a sketch paper or a canvas, he is able to control the result through experience, fearlessness and the venturing of taking engraving out of a well-organized area and into an area of flying.

We grasp the sophisticated exercises he made in search of significant justifications for his high sense of economy of colors, coherence of lines and their positive transformations in every space of the canvas.

He is a player who masters his instruments of expression wandering in the memory of the artist to become a virtual truth both in his engravings and paintings. Yaser is an artist inclined to his inner voice, liberating himself from the censorship of what was achieved previously, to directly enter his own room and pronounce his word with neither trepidation nor hesitation.