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ESAM PASHA

In 1999, Esam had earned a degree in business administration in Baghdad, but he instead chose to become an artist. Before the war, as a member of the Iraqi Art Society, he had exhibited extensively in Baghdad, including the Iraqi State Art Center, the International Babylon Festival (1998), the Political Poster Exhibition (1998), the Jamil Hamoudy Exhibition (the Iraqi pioneer) held in Innana Gallery, Baghdad (2001). Internationally, his paintings were selected for the Iraqi Contemporary Art Exhibition in Vienna, Austria (1998), the Victor Hugo Exhibition at the FrencCultural Center (1998), “Humanity Crosses The Threshold of the New Millennium” (held by International Committee of the Red Cross (1999), the “Iraq: Terre Oublée” exhibition in Paris (2000), and “Art Across Borders” which toured Europe and the United States.

In 2000, Esam also created a large panoramic mural representing the history and civilization of Iraq for the United Nations Development Program in Baghdad. Unfortunately, the mural was destroyed when the U.N. office was bombed and burned by the terrorists. After the fall of Baghdad in April, 2003, Esam served as a translator for the coalition troops. In the days following the fall of Baghdad, Esam was the first artist to paint a new mural over the largest outdoor portrait of Saddam Hussein.

Esam won a six-month international artist-in-residency at the Griffis Art Center in New London, Connecticut, where he continues to paint. In addition, since 2004, he has been writing chapters for his book about life in Baghdad before, during, and after the war. He has also helped to organize a major group exhibition called “Ashes to Art: The Iraqi Phoenix,” curated by Peter Hastings Falk at the Pomegranate Gallery.


Untitled, From the Tears of Wax Series
Wax on board, 2003
11.5 x 12 inches (29 x 30.5 cm)
Untitled , From the Tears of Wax Series
Wax on board, 2003
12 x 10.5 inches (30.5 x 26.7 cm)
Untitled, From the Tears of Wax Series
Wax on board, 2003
11.5 x 12 inches (29 x 30.5 cm)
Untitled, From the Tears of Wax Series
Wax on board, 2003
11.5 x 12 inches ( 29 x 30.5 cm)
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