The Kurdish Artist Ismail Khayat was born in 1944 in Khanaqin. He’s been practicing art and having exhibitions in Kurdistan and all over the world since 1965. His work of art which is titled "Drawings of Masks" goes back to the 1970s. The work implies life, existence and survival. By implementing his own style, Ismail leaves a personal impression on the audience.
The masks and their backgrounds express the sufferings of the Kurdish people, especially in the 1980s. Every face gives a special impression to the audience, and every face or mask tells a story of its own. We can say that with the distorted expressions the faces reflect, the artist has succeeded in conveying the bitter experiences and the spiritual agony a Kurdish individual was ex- posed to.
290 masks, 290 cases of suffering and torture. The work has been showcased in Kurdistan and outside, especially in Norway, USA and Europe. The characteristics of Ismail's drawn faces are distinguishable in the sense that they’re typical examples of Kurdish expressionism.