392Rmeil393 Art Gallery, Gouraud street, Jemayze, Beirut
A collective exhibition of ten artists ; nine sculptors and one painter.
In this exhibition the city that I depict in my paintings is familiar to me since I grew up there. It is a space to which I always return with unexplained nostalgia. Also, my vision of this place, yet subject to the turmoil of history, is not pessimistic. On the contrary, the city that I depict inspires security. Conscious of this paradoxical state of mind, I seek to render the light, that of the sun which submerges the city, to reflect on this luminosity, through the medium of painting, and to translate the poetic moment of a sunny afternoon.
Nor Hadjen is the name of a street diverging from Armenia street just before the large crossroad of river Beirut. Only Lebanese Armenians know that the name Hadjen refers to the name of a faraway village in Anatolia, today’s south-eastern Turkey.
My grandmother lived on the corner of this street; she owned a novelty shop there.
The absence of light specially in the opening of the windows translates the absence of its people, familiar to me because they once resided in these houses and environments and left during the war, and still leaving the home, environment, country. This is probably where the sadness lies in my work. However, on the other side, the love of life is so strongly ingrained in me, that I see and paint the light of environment so dominantly. There is much light on the facades of the constructions that I paint. Perhaps these houses are now inhabited by new strangers. And perhaps, once again it is the influence of Jean Baptiste Camille Corot’s paintings and his sun-bathed architecture of Mediterranean Italy.