You never left

Yousef Nabil, You never left

Solo exhibition at Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris

You Never Left #1, 2010
Diptych, hand colored gelatin silverprint, 27 x 39 cm/ 10,6 x 15,3 in. each photo
Ed. of 10

You Never Left # 2, 2010
Hand colored gelatin silver print, 39 x 27 cm/ 15,3 x 10,6 in.
Ed. of 10

You Never Left #IV, 2010
Hand colored gelatin silver print, 27 x 39 cm/ 10,6 x 15,3 in.
Ed. of 10

You Never Left #VI, 2010
Hand colored gelatin silver print. Installation of 12 different portraits
39 x 27 cm/ 15,3 x 10,6 in. each
Ed of 3

You Never Left #VII, 2010
Hand colored gelatin silver print, 50 x 75 cm/ 19,6 x 29,5 in.
Ed. of 5

You Never Left #VIII, 2010
Hand colored gelatin silver print, 115 x 75 cm/ 45,2 x 29,5 in.
Ed. of 3

Youssef Nabil observes his life as if he were in a cinema, watching and witnessing every minute of his own movie. When he realised, as a child, that many of his favourite Egyptian film stars were no longer alive, this kindled a desire to meet those who were still living and to immortalise them. In doing this, he created an imaginary reality that reflects both the paradoxes of the Middle East in our times and the fantasies and flamboyance of Egyptian movie stars in the cosmopolitan pre-revolutionary years.

Nabil began his photographic career in 1992 by staging tableaux in which his friends acted out melodramas recalling film stills from the golden age of Egyptian cinema. Later in the 1990s, while working as a photographer’s assistant in New York and Paris, he began a series of photographs of artists, portraying them in dream-like situations that were a long way from their public personas. On his return to Egypt in 1999 he further developed his unique photographic approach, hand-colouring his black-and-white gelatin-silver prints. Like the Egyptian films of his youth, this new approach removes the blemishes of reality and fuses contemporary art and popular culture. Now based in Paris and New York, Nabil also produces self-portraits reflecting his fragmented life away from Egypt.

You Never Left  was first shown in the exhibition Told/Untold/Retold, held to mark the inauguration of the Mathaf in Doha in December 2010, and met with great critical success, establishing Youssef Nabil as part of a “New Wave” of Arab artists injecting fresh dynamism into the international art scene.

You Never Left #XII, 2010
Hand colored gelatin silver print, 27 x 39 cm/ 10,6 x 15,3 in.
Ed. of 10

 

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