January 14 through March 1. Mondays through Fridays, 12 to 5 p.m.; Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m.; closed Sundays. A Syrian artist and architect, Hafez was born in Damascus, raised
in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and educated in the Midwestern United
States. Expressing the juxtaposition of East and West within him and
using his architectural skills, Hafez creates surrealistic Middle
Eastern streetscapes that are architectural in their appearance yet
politically charged in their content.
to the atrocities of the Syrian war, Hafez's recent work depicts cities
besieged by civil war to capture the magnitude of the devastation and
to expose the fragility of human life. However, in deliberate contrast
to the violence of war, his art imbues a subtle hopefulness through its
deliberate incorporation of verses from the Holy Quran. At the core of
Hafez's work, the verses offer a distinct contrast between the stark
pessimistic reality of destruction and the optimistic hope of a bright
future. Scenes reiterate narratives from the Qur'an to affirm that, even
during the darkest of times, patience is necessary for the blossoming
of life and that, eventually, justice will prevail.
said his work reflects his deep interest in the cross-disciplinary
exploration of street art and the realistic, yet ironic sculptural work.
He purposefully infuses a stark contrast between the scenes he creates
and the messages imbued in his work, connecting what he describes as his
"deeply troubled soul" to his western audience through his miniature
cityscapes. He writes, "My emotions want to yell out. And I cannot
console myself in anything other than this highly detailed work."