Jules Maidoff, Nude with fur collar, 2010, 90 x 90 cm, mixed media on canvas
Spectrum is confronting the work of two painters - Jules Maidoff and Sabhan Adam - who's work is strongly influenced by their heritage and imaginary, but coming from different generations and social and cultural backgrounds.
Jules Maidoff was born in 1933 in New York City as a descendant of Jewish emigrants. He has moved to Tuscany in the 70ies and was co-founder and director of SACI - Studio Arts Center International Florence.
Maidoff has started to show his work in the late 50ies in New York and has participated since in more than 100 exhibitions worldwide.
He grew up in the NY Bronx under the influence of his grandparents who kept their Jewish roots alive and passed on the imaginary universe of rich traditions and colorful folklore. Maybe because of this influence, Jules Maidoff has created his work closer to the European humanistic tradition than to the North American abstract style of the post-war area.
Jules Maidoff's paintings do not leave the viewer indifferent. His unique images are created by masterly brush strokes and warm colors and are guiding the viewer often into a burlesque atmosphere. The work is equally proving the artists independent and young spirit and his warm and strong personality. People remain the central theme in his large oevre. After 60 successful years, Jules Maidoff continues to find new inspiration in his favored characters, his wife and family, friends, models and sometimes himself.
Sabhan Adam was born 1972 in Hassakeh, Syria and lives and works actually between Damascus and his home town. His characteristic work is strongly influenced by his country and especially the region of his origin. The city of Hassakeh is placed in the far north east of Syria, a region between the borders of Turkey and Iraq. This land is, since generations and due to its geographic situation, an area of passage, of shelter for refugees and characterized by a religious diversity.
Sabhan Adam is a self-taught artist and has developed a unique artistic language, but it is difficult task to fit his work in the context of contemporary art of the Middle East. The self portrait plays a central role in his work. With the repetition and variation of his characteristic face he tortures his body in many ways or dignifies himself with rich robes and majestic hats.
Western critics have remarked parallels to Bacon, Schiele or Basquiat, because his work is provocative and disturbing, instinctive and cruel. Despite this strangeness Sabhan's painting has a strong attraction by radiating an almost infantile spiritual freedom joined with subconscious anxiety.