My work focuses on urban and suburban landscapes that I have dreamed of since I was a child. I started by painting in oil which gave radiance, dynamism, and richness to the color. In my most recent works, I preferred acrylic for the speed of its rendering. It is a technique that also refers, in a way, to my childhood during which I saw my father painting his most beautiful landscapes with this same technique. Lately I have also been interested in gouache.
I've been painting these urban and suburban landscapes since 1999. These views were first reflections of my studio and the interior of my home - a painting hanging on the wall, an easel in a corner, a rug on the floor disappearing then blending in a piece of landscape - against the backdrop of a sunny afternoon cityscape. With the emergence of skyscrapers in the city decor around the beginning of 2011, my approach changed: I started to project carpet patterns and arabesques intertwining the elements of a building under construction, in background. In recent years (2018 to present), cityscapes and rooftops are painted as is, without overlapping or protruding feature(s), nor reflections, intertwinement, or interweavement.
The world I wanted to create through painting is a silent poetry.
From a mental point of view, I would say that my work is an attempt to readjust the vulnerability that is inside of me with the world outside of me. I stubbornly seek to find a place in the sunny city of my dreams, a place where reality as it is does not impose itself.
The lights and shadows that I use in my painting to render the facades of constructed buildings are deeply influenced by the paintings of Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, the main landscape painter of the Barbizon school of the mid-19th century. I use a smooth and fine technique to achieve the same kind of effects. Like Corot, I paint to idealize the landscape while trying to remain faithful to it.
I remember the first time I admired the light that we see in his paintings; it was after having faithfully copied "Le Pont de Mantes" (1868/70) during my undergraduate years. The delicacy of the colored palette of grays, ocher yellows and greens played tone on tone with very subtle echoes, associated with shades of blue restores the emotion of the hour and of the light, the poetry of the ephemeral and the eternity of the moment all at once. This is the kind of feeling I have in front of my suburban landscapes, before and after having painted them. I tend towards sunny views of the northeast suburbs of Beirut and, more generally, I tend to capture a certain atmosphere of suburban cityscapes.
Later, I discovered the work of Edward Hopper. I was then confirmed in my choice of medium and in my fascination for the immediate environment. I didn't introduce a human presence like Hopper did, but I recognize myself in his technique and his light effects.