In order to support the Lebanese artistic sector, BEIRUT ART FAIR launched on November 23rd a “Open Call #1 for Lebanese Artists” on social networks, to encourage and support new artists. In just 5 days, the organizers received 196 applications from all around the country.

A pre-selection of 44 artists was carried out, from which 7 candidates were chosen for this first promotion of promising talents. The choice was tight as the proposed projects were so rich and varied.

For one week, from December 3 to 9, 2020, BEIRUT ART FAIR’s Facebook & Instagram platforms has exhibited one artist’s work (one artist/one work/one day) every day. The selected works are offered for sale in order to support and encourage these artists to pursue their aspirations.

Artists have explored the broad spectrum of topics spanning identity, be it regional, collective, community, social, or gender-related, but also the cultural dimension particularly when the applicant is of mixed roots. 

These young artists open our eyes, they make us think about our condition. We will rebuild together a more beautiful world than the one that was confiscated from us. 

DAY 1: Basile Ghosn

Basile Ghosn was born in 1991. He lives and works in Marseille, France. He works with images found in old architecture magazines that he collects to create his own worlds with a range of engraving techniques from photocopying to silkscreen printing. His work is part of the FRAC public collection and has been exhibited at the Friche Belle de Mai (Marseille), the Cité Radieuse - Le Corbusier (Marseille), and the Material Art Fair (Mexico).

The work presented is a tribute to Ursula Le Guin's science fiction novel. It is a framed print made of glass recovered from a destroyed building. This work is part of the series "The Left Hand of the Night" which includes 7 illustrations inspired by the atmosphere of the book.

La main gauche de la nuit (torres blancas), 2019, Architectural tracing print, found glass, steel, unique piece, 106×62 cm – EUR 3.200

DAY 2: Zeinab Khalifeh

Zeinab Khalifeh is a photographer born in 1993. Her work reflects the complex reality of the Lebanese society. She documents people, stories and wandering. Her work has been published in several Lebanese and international magazines, including National Geographic. She won the 1st prize of the National Geographic Award 2019 "Moments" with the photography "One Moment on 40 Years". She was also nominated by Word Press Photo as an emerging photographer.

The photo exhibited here, "On Moment on 40 Years" describes Hassan installed on his craft in the old souk of Sidon. He was a dressmaker for 40 years before he recently passed away. Uncle Hassan could no longer recognize his family members. However, he rediscovered his memories through the sewing machine.

One Moment on 40 Years, 2017, Photography on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, Ed 2 of 6 + 3 AP, 50×70 cm – USD 2.000

DAY 3: Michelle Maluf

Michelle Maluf is a Colombian and Lebanese artist. Inspired by her cultural heritage, her tapestries are created using ancestral techniques with contemporary elements, intertwining the past with the future. Life in Lebanon has been a great source of inspiration for Michelle. The contrasts between religions, culture, and landscapes are strong, but they combine to form a beautiful diversity. Like her tapestries, the vast contrast of elements combines to form a harmonious design.

Her tapestry "Bright Side" aims to see beauty in the banal. Bright colours gush out offering life and texture to the work. It is a contrast of feelings, colours and elements. The background is inspired by ancestral weaving techniques using yarn for life and the contrast is given by using coloured leather and wrapped around wooden sticks.

Bright Side, 2019, Leather and yarn, Unique piece, 150×105 cm – USD 1.300

DAY 4: Tony Mhanna

Tony Mhanna is a mechanical engineer as well as an explorer, photographer, and visual artist. He has a keen interest in design, form and architecture. Deeply touched by the scars and sorrows of war, as well as by his desire to highlight Lebanese patriotism, he is dedicated to telling forgotten or untold stories of a nation. His work recalls the past, frames the present, and prepares for the future.

His work "Wraith" is a research mission, a ghostly haunting presence and a story of awakening in haunted places. He seeks to bring these spirits together by rekindling the energy of their golden days. The graceful movement of the fabric is their dance. It is the return of life to the heart of their home: the feeling of belonging of the Lebanese who, against all odds, will always find the path to their roots and mark their presence.

TWRAITH (Reviving Lebanon Heritage), 2019, Photography on Hahnemuhle Photo Glass Baryta, Ed 2 of 5, 120×80 cm – USD 2.000

DAY 5: Salah Missi

Salah Missi was born in Lebanon in 1992. He acquired his bases in the principles of design and architecture. In the course of his career, he developed an interest in human behavior in the Arab world, the source of his true expression. "As a citizen of this executed land," he says, "I question the unwritten rules of society and the impact of corrupt rulers on our lives”.

His work describes his first breath in this world where he finds himself drowned in melancholy. These intertwined characters float in a state of helplessness and despair, He describes it as "an endless loop in which we are forced to live”.

Endless Loop, 2019, Charcoal on paper, Unique piece, 150×150 cm – USD 3.500

DAY 6: Camila Salame

Camila Salame was born in 1985 in Bogota, Colombia. Her artistic practice is expressed through the use of unconventional range of media. Echoing a personal quest around her Lebanese origin, her work explores the notions of place of origin, reconstitution of memory, territories of affect and intimate architecture. She exhibited at the Beirut Art Center (Beirut), the Cité Internationale des Arts (Paris). She is a laureate of the Salon de Montrouge 2019, and has been selected to be part of the CAPSULE residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts.

Her work is a fragment of limestone evoking the natural environment of the Bald Ibis on which rests a precious olive branch. She pays homage to this lost bird. For many years, this species was preserved because it was believed to be the sacred bird that brought the olive branch, symbol of hope, to Noah after the Flood. In this memorial, the species is absent and supplanted by its mythical evocation. A sign of fertility and immortality, the olive tree also represents the eternal link between man and the earth.

‘Omen’ – Memorial to a lost bird, 2019, Olive tree branch, brass, gold leaf on limestone, unique piece + 1AP, 14x31x15 cm on variable dimensions – EUR 800

DAY 7: Léa Skayem

Léa Skayem is born in 1997 in Beirut, and soon graduated with a Master in Cinema Directing from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA). Her artistic approach combines aesthetic research and experimentation. By making documentary films, her approach echoes what reality offers her. She is known for her series of black and white nude self-portraits through which she shows experimentation and investigation in body and space relationship.

Creating an explicit adaptation of how she perceives herself, she makes the spectator part of the images. Through a sombre mood, Léa highlights the difficulty of living in the body of a woman in a highly conservative society.

Léa Skayem, Please Read Instructions Carefully, 2019, Photography on Epson Premium Luster, Ed 1 of 5, 29,7×42 cm – USD 450


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L'OLJ - 9 Dec.
ARTMEJO - 6 Dec.
FOCUS MAG - 5 Dec.
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