Riyad Ne'emah - Artist Bio

Riyad Ne'emah, in the artistic haven of his studio, immersing himself in a world of creative endeavors

Riyad Ne'emah, in the artistic haven of his studio, immersing himself in a world of creative endeavors

In a Few Words

Born In: Baghdad, Iraq (1968)

Lives In: Beirut, Lebanon

Background: Born in 1968 in Baghdad, Iraq, Riyadh Ne’emah obtained his B.A. in Fine Arts with a specialization in Painting in 1992. Amid the upheaval of Saddam Hussein's rule and his attempts at totalitarian control in Iraq, Ne’emah belongs to a generation of visual artists who joined forces in a potent movement of contemporary Iraqi art. Together, they sought creative liberation, pushing against the constraints enforced by the oppressive regime.

Style & Media: Riyadh Ne'emah's artistic creations showcase striking juxtapositions of colour, featuring crisp and unpredictable lines, while the paint itself takes on a distinctly lyrical quality. Thus, his canvases, characterised by abstraction and unpredictability, resemble musical compositions. The interplay of dynamic brushstrokes, subdued colour palettes, and enigmatic subjects, elicit a profound sense of self-reflection and nostalgia for a bygone childhood.

Themes: Within the nuanced realm of his artistic dialogue, Ne'emah crafts evocative and enigmatic narratives that unravel the complex saga of his nation, fractured by isolation and a labyrinthine political milieu. Within the tempest of human suffering and profound loss, Ne'emah undertakes a profound exploration, seeking the resurgence of identity. Through the alchemy of paint, he breathes vitality back into humanity, transcending the confines of colours to reflect the profound interplay between individual identity and the broader human experience.

In a Few More Words

Riyadh Ne'emah is a storyteller through visuals. His creative journey unfolds amidst the lingering echoes of Saddam Hussein's autocratic era, narrating stories of resilience and contemplation. Ne'emah's craftsmanship, a melodic fusion of shades, echoes as a harmonious arrangement of life's contradictions. Each brushstroke, resembling a philosophical tone, delves into the interplay of opposing colours, dynamic lines, and unpredictable strokes, prompting us to ponder the mysterious identities of those reflected on his canvas.

 Upon entering the enigmatic realm of Ne'emah's innovations, one will encounter figures seemingly situated on the periphery of civilization, manifesting as poetic expressions within a tapestry of tumultuous vitality. Warriors adorned in scarlet tones, figures cloaked in militant headgear, these aren't merely commonplace motifs but carriers of elaborate narratives, encouraging reflection on the fragility and strength inherent in the human journey.

Balancing delicately on the subtle boundaries between politics and art, Ne'emah manoeuvres with the precision of a tightrope walker, always mindful that his paintbrush wields the influence of a philosopher's quill. Despite a naive demeanor, his tenacity shines through as his subjects become conduits for a philosophical examination of the human predicament.

Ne'emah's protagonists, meticulously observed and brought to life on canvases, surpass the confines of time and geography. Whether adorned as warriors or civilians, their countenances bear the dust of a distant Iraq. Each stroke becomes a vibrant protest against the quietude of existence, an invitation to not only explore a vivid life but, the very core of our collective humanity.

Key Exhibitions


Portrait, Art on 56th, Beirut, Lebanon (2016)
Markhiya Gallery, Doha, Qatar (2015)
Dar Al Anda Gallery, Amman, Jordan (2010)
Rafia Gallery, Damascus, Syria (2010)
Babel Theater, Beirut, Lebanon (2010)
Sami Abdurrahman Park, Erbil, Iraq (2009)
Courtyard Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2009)
Zaman Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon (2006)
Almada Gallery, Damascus, Syria (2005)
Ministry of Culture, Prague, Czech Republic (2004)
Gallery of Kuwaiti Plastic Artists, Kuwait (2004)
Zaman Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon (2003)
French Culture Center, Damascus, Syria (2001)
Ishtar Gallery, Damascus, Syria (2000)


    Jane Geneih Exhibition, Babel Theater, Beirut, Lebanon (2009)
    Rafia Gallery, Damascus, Syria (2009)
    City Hall, USA Aldroubi Gallery, Baghdad, Iraq (2005)
    M Gallery, Paris, France (2004)
    Manes Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic (2004)
    Almezan Gallery, Baghdad, Iraq (2003)
    Almada Gallery, Damascus, Syria (2003)
    Association of Jordanian Artists Gallery, Amman, Jordan (1997)
    Inana Gallery, Baghdad, Iraq (1995)

      Awards and Honours

      RealizeBritish Council, Damascus, Syria (2000)

      View Available Artworks