Category Archives: Art

The Amazing Guillermo Forchino Collection Now Available At Virgin Megastores In Beirut

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I love figurines, specially the ones that are meticulously crafted and contain a lot of details, so you can imagine how excited I was while unwrapping my “Mr Barbecue” figurine by Guillermo Forchino that Virgin sent me as a gift. Forchino is an Argentinian artist born to Italian parents who creates comic sculptures with a lighthearted sense of fun and color. He has quite a large collection that includes boats, planes, motorcycles and cars and he has created in recent years a line of individuals in sports and a variety of professions that was named the “ Professionals Series”. The figurine I got is shown below and is almost 45cm long. As you can see, the details are amazing and the whole thing is just beautiful.

20141125_172614 “A good barbecue is hard to do!” explained Freddy to his two kids who listened mesmerized. “First, is to start the charcoal. Then the grill is heated so it can be easily cleaned.” The kids, charmed by the master chef, listened attentively. “Then, gently place the pieces of meat and sausage on the grill. Finally, and this is the most important, patiently wait for the exact moment when the meat is perfectly cooked, and then….there is nothing left to do, but to enjoy yourself!”

Price-wise, the figurines are quite affordable as the most expensive one costs around $280 which is a very reasonable price considering the amount of work and the size and weight of the object. The one I got costs around $235 but you can find smaller items that start at around 100 or $150. I am already considering buying my parents one of them as a Christmas gift and getting myself the F1 car.

You can check out his [website] for more info. The Guillermo Forchino collection is exclusively available at the Virgin Megastores store in Beirut.

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The Culture Trip: The 10 Best Lebanese Product Designers You Should Know

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The Culture Trip wrote a nice article highlighting the 10 best Lebanese product designers. The designers mentioned are Atelier S/Z, Bokja, Karen Chekerdjian, Carlo Massoud, David/Nicolas, Kashida, Marc Baroud, Nada Debs, Niloufar Afnan and Najla el Zein.

Check out the full article [Here].

Lebanese product designers are making a name for themselves on the elite design scene throughout the world for their high-quality, unique pieces that promote a union between traditional Middle Eastern culture and contemporary design. Here we take a look at the 10 most impressive designers from Lebanon in recent years, and examine what makes their art so spectacular. [CultureTrip]

Beirut’s Rose House (La Maison Rose) Is Opening To The Public

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British Artist Tom Young will be showcasing his work and hosting a series of events at ‘La Maison Rose’ or ‘The Pink House’ from November 19 till the end of December. Young had already transformed the abandoned ‘Villa Paradiso’ in Gemmayzeh into an exhibition venue last year and decided to do the same with the Rose House after his two month artist residency there. The exhibition will showcase 40 paintings that evoke the dreamlike nature of the house, and the dramatic contrasts at play in Beirut. A film about the process which led to the exhibition will also be screened. This is the first time that the Rose House is open to the public.

I think everyone should go visit the Rose House and encourage Young’s initiative to put this old Lebanese house on the cultural map and host more cultural and art events there. We need to preserve our heritage and stop demolishing these old fantastic Beirut houses to make way for skyscrapers and commercial centers.

PS: The BeirutReport originally posted about that.

manara rose house

rose house

Overlooking the lighthouse in Manara, Ras Beirut is an iconic 19th Century mansion, often known as ‘La Maison Rose’ or ‘The Pink House’. In April 2014, British artist Tom Young knocked on the door of the building. Having successfully transformed the abandoned ‘Villa Paradiso’ in Gemmayzeh into an exhibition venue last year, he wondered: perhaps he could paint here, and maybe do an exhibition about it.
Since then he has been making a body of work which will culminate in a self-curated, on-site exhibition called “At The Rose House”, which opens on November 18th and runs until the end of December 2014.
The resident of the house, Fayza El Khazen, offered Young studio space in the mansion over the summer. Her family had lived there for 50 years. Young discovered that she was leaving her home in the coming months. There was a sense of urgency to capture the last days of the house in its present state.
Young wondered about the fate of the building, concerned it may be demolished to make way for another high rise tower. He believes that art and culture have a role to play in protecting heritage and giving it a new lease of life. This place could become a gem on the city’s cultural map. So he contacted the new owners, the Jaroudi family, to propose his idea to use the house as a venue for an exhibition. They gave him their blessing for the project.
Young is intrigued by the artistic history of the house: he learned about the house’s role as a social magnet for the city’s cultural tastemakers since the 1960’s. El Khazin’s late brother, Sami was a famous painter and architect. Part of the exhibition will feature an installation of Sami’s paintings, honouring him and the memory of the family. Young sees his project as a continuation of the creativity which has always flourished in the house.

[YouTube]

El Hamra Cinema Brought Back To Life As Tyre Hosts Its First Ever International Film Festival

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El Hamra Cinema was built in 1952 and used to be the cultural hub of the city of Tyre before the war started. After being closed for 30 years, Kassem Istanbouli and his team decided to bring the place back to life and hosted at first an International Theater Festival back in June 2014, and then Tyre’s first ever international film festival between November 8 and 11.

Ayyam al-Hamra al-Cinemaiyya brought short films from more than 12 countries in Europe and the Arab world, with the aim of “promoting culture and creativity and to create a space for people to meet and exchange experiences of cinema”. The event is supposed to become an annual one, held each November.

I think this is a great initiative as Tyre (and other cities) needs such a venue for cultural expression and for people to enjoy a positive and enriching experience. Check out the theater’s Facebook page [Here].

Lebanese Bushra El-Turk, Hind Hobeika And Bahia Shehab Among BBC’s Top 100 Women Of 2014

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Bushra Bushra el Turk: British-Lebanese composer for London Symphony Orchestra

Three Lebanese women made it to BBC’s 100 Women Of 2014 list. The list is aimed at highlighting inspiring figures from around the world and part of the BBC’s pledge to better represent women in its international coverage.

The three women are:
– Bushra el Turk, a British-Lebanese composer for London Symphony Orchestra. [Website]
– Bashia Shehab, a Lebanese-Egyptian artist, designer and art historian. [Bio] [Ted Talk]
– Hind Hobeika: The founder of Instbeat. [Link]

You can check out the full BBC list [Here].

Bashia Bahia Shehab: Artist, designer and art historian

Hind Hobeika Hind Hobeika: Founder of Instabeat

Gandour’s New Logo

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Gandour is changing its old logo and switching to the new one above. The bell-boy was also present in the 1940s’ logo along with the flag but he is becoming the primary focus now.

I’ve never really paid that much attention to Gandour’s logos but I like the new one.

PS: The new logo was designed Mash Creative and SocioDesign.

The key objective was to create a new iconic brand marque for Gandour, capturing the essence of the company in a simple, yet modern way. The new brand marque needed to present Gandour as a contemporary company but without alienating existing customers and stake holders. Our focus was to ensure that the new logo referenced key symbology from previous iterations as a means of continuing tradition. We chose to highlight the bellboy and flag elements, thereby creating a marque that hinted to the past but also provided a platform for the company going forward. The new Gandour logo will be rolled out across their entire range throughout 2015.

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Lebanese Artist Akram Zaatari Among ArtReview’s Top 100 Most Powerful Contemporary Artists in The World

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Akram Zaatari is a Lebanese video artist and curator. He’s also the co-founder of The Arab Image Foundation who contains more than “600,000 historic images of daily life in the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora”, and is the one who discovered Hashem el Madani’s work and decided to partner with him and show Studio Shehrazade’s photographs to the whole world. I posted about Studio Shehrazade back in February and it’s one of the most amazing stories I’ve covered so far.

ArtReview, which is one of the world’s leading international contemporary art magazines, has placed Zaatari among the top 100 most powerful contemporary artists in the world. Check out the full list [Here].

Zaatari, whose work involves a self-reflective examination of photography and documentary, has been busier than ever these past 12 months. His use of archival research and history as both subject and material, with a deft nod to the longstanding political turmoil of the Middle East, has won him curatorial fans far beyond his base in Beirut. Besides 2014 shows at Salt, Istanbul, and the Power Plant, Toronto, he had a survey at Wiels, Brussels, centring on the artist’s recurring motif of the letter. Last November he had a well-received exhibition of photographs and multimedia installations at Thomas Dane, London. That show included the 38-minute film On Photography People and Modern Times (2010), which, in part, is a portrait of the Arab Image Foundation, an expanding collection of over 600,000 vernacular and studio photographs from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora, which the artist cofounded in 1997.

_73042140_akramzaatari,twentyeightnightsandapoem,2014 Madani and Zaatari

Thanks Rami!

Ekhirta Ata3it: MARCH And Lucien Bou Rjeily’s Play On Censorship Was Approved!

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I’ve posted about this matter less than a year ago and asked the head of the censorship bureau to look at the bigger image and let the Lucien Bourjeily play pass and be the first one to attend it.

Censorship is wrong as we should be given the right to choose what to watch, read and listen. In case you missed my article, you can read it [Here].

Mabrouk to MARCH, Lucien and all the Lebanese!

After a long battle with the censorship authorities, we are excited to announce that the sequel of the censored play “Bto2ta3 aw ma Bto2ta3″, “La 3younak Sidna” produced by MARCH and directed by Lucien Bourjeily was approved by General Security!

Here’s to hoping this is the first of many victories in the anti-censorship struggle in Lebanon, and that the General Security’s Censorship Bureau continues with this open-minded approach to the issue of freedom of expression.

We are proud to say we finally won a battle in our fight against censorship!