Mehmut Xelil has been working on the canvas in a small workshop near Kobanê’s Tilel Bazaar and has been involved in painting art for about 15 years. 

Xelil, 31, is married with two children. He has been painting since 2002 and signs his works as Romeo. 

Xelil has painted the experience of the people of North Kurdistan on the canvas and has recently been working on the Rojava Revolution.

Noting that he worked hard to ensure his livelihood throughout life, he said he never gave up trying to take pictures despite everything. He said that he took as example  painters such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Peter Paul and Michalengelo Picasso, and added that each painter has his own unique technique.

Xelil, who takes his inspiration from the pain and joy of the Kurdish people, emphasizes that he is trying to be the eye of the society.

Xelil said Kurdish cultures and the Rojava revolution have a special place in his work. He added: “In every picture I actually see my own reality. The Kurdish people have been under threat for centuries, the victim of massacres and genocides. Kurdish society is a society where betrayal and resistance have coexisted throughout history. But this history could not be represented by art. Only the dengbej [story tellers] have served this purpose. I want to serve as a Kurdish artist by working on the art of the Rojava revolution”.

Xelil paints portraits of elderly mothers and grandparents and explains that the pain of years is hidden in every portrait. The painter emphasizes the resistance shown in the battles in Kobanê and Afrin. As an example, Xelil points out to Picasso’s famous Guernika describing the Spanish civil war.

Referring to the pain of the painters, Xelil noted that they were trying to perform their art under difficult conditions. 

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