Syrian-born Swedish artist Jwan Yosef is shattering boundaries with his innate raw talent and structural vision of art that conveys a greater and purer expression of today’s modern existence.
By Hassan Al-Saleh
Photography Tomo Brejc
To conceptual artist, Jwan Yosef, subtlety is intellect. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in London, he has honed his craft of layered simplicity with great dexterity to evolve his figurative work to almost “hyper minimal” but equally self-referential. The unpretentious complexity of his work is filled with an unabashed sense of intimacy. Strong with purpose, the simplicity is captivating, seducing even, with expressions of mystery that heighten intrigue and ignite the imagination.
A prolific painter of beautiful abstractions, his relationship with art supplies and materials - and his attempt to make sense of their purpose and value in contemporary art - has become a defining quality of his work. He brushes his canvas with broad strokes of commentary on dualisms, absence, acceptance, identity, gender, and sexuality in today’s modern existence. In an era of blurred lines, Jwan bends the boundaries of mediums to transcend form and function.
Born in Syria, raised in Sweden and now living in London as he prepares to move to Los Angeles, Jwan describes himself as a modern-day gypsy. He does not conform to Arab or Scandinavian archetypes and considers himself a foreigner wherever he goes. We caught up with him in his studio in London just before his first solo show at Stene Projects in Stockholm entitled “Masking”.
“The platform for art is certainly shifting; it’s becoming somewhat more loose and fluid, somehow maybe more digitalized, less dependent of actual objects.” – Jwan Yosef