Upheaval of the present takes you back to nostalgia. Fragments of memories play in your mind. Incoherent thoughts edited. There is a certain place in the past where a part of you lived and no matter how far you have come, nostalgia takes over. It’s a romance with the past. These vintage images in black and white or in faded colors revived from imagination in full color. Vivid colors surface haunted memories of a buried past.
Pastel and earthy sceneries, leave their marks like bullets left on walls. Upon this war torn scenes, a blend of shades and light hear the drawings’ whisper of a war. This beautiful mess captured by Martin Giesen, washed and running flows with his strokes free but damp. They speak of life so light, pale, and tragic, where the wind blows soft in a ravaged war scene. In his faded colors they are but a dream, yet the Mediterranean still breathes a salty, calm breeze.
Lost in a flat surface where conundrum of colors take shape, the emotional overtones of expressionism come through to us from those visions of beauty created by the great Saliba Douaihy. His paintings although ultra modern somehow break away from what might seem the coldness of modernism by beautiful interruptions of his geometric lines with unexpected projections, and sensuous curves. With a minimum of flat colors he has been able to create a harmony and order, moving and motionless, where light and dark, shadows and hues of sunlight congregate creating scenes of pure esthetic beauty.
Life persists, among a field of death, shallow, bleeding but still with breath. A flag once soaring high, now bathed in red still lies standing, among the fallen dream. The skies are smoke, thick and hot like an inferno of battle and shells. The earth is painted in shades of brown but where splashes of red taint the ground. While innocence dies, the flag endures to war’s overtures.
Graffiti canons spray paint art to the ones who reach out to lost dreams. Rebels formed from the corruption held at home. They stand tall out of this, wide-awake, and make a stance. They bring wisdom, facts, and not opinions as they color the walls in truth.
This is war paint, he puts it on everyday so we can remind ourselves of the atrocities of a distance past. They seam like distant dreams painted to heal open wounds. Although his paintings are just pictures of this collective memory of a bygone war era, yet they are worthy of a thousand words as real as life itself.
Saloua Raouda Choucair is a pioneer of abstract art in the Middle East. Born in 1916, she takes her rightful position as a significant figure in the history of twentieth-century art. Beirut is very important to her. It’s where she was born. She loves this city. She isn’t nostalgic of it she says. She believes in the future, trusting the exploration of science and space.