Work by Jane Gemayel.
Muhammad Yusuf, Feature Writer
Canadian artist Jane Gemayel, who lives and works in Monaco, will hold her first exhibition in Dubai with a retrospective selection of her works, in the Monaco pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai (January 12 to 13) managed by managers of cultural events, Grimaldi Forum Monaco. Born in Ontario, Canada, Gemayel discovered at a young age a long-standing passion for books, dictionaries and the love of words. At the age of 20, she discovered and deciphered the work of the poet and visual artist Kahlil Gibran, who has since given meaning to her way of approaching life and work, by tracing a path through art. , literature and news from the mass media. In 2015, she published a bespoke illustrated edition of Gibran’s flagship work, The Prophet.
Imbued with a classic heritage that she shares with the masters who inspired her such as Matisse and Klimt, Gemayel records the movement of a body in black ink, with spontaneous lines. Inside the drawing, the sense of movement is conveyed by the use of arabesque patterns and dense lines executed with this medium deposited with energy, like a calligrapher who fills the space in front of him. His work is the fruit of a long meditation on the world.
The Black Boxes bear witness to this: they are intimate packs in which the artist meticulously collects all the substance of his work: quotes, press clippings, notes, associations of ideas and colors – images loaded with contained emotion. The Woman, Heart, Innocence series extends this emotion with simplicity. With the News as Muse series, from 2016, Gemayel’s work takes a turn.
The writing and the image remain the point of departure, but here random articles and photographs from The New York Times are appropriate and drawn to produce a combination of topicality and art, bringing documentary value to his drawing without quitting. ‘it becomes an illustration. The artist questions our relationship to power and politics, questions the future of humanity and our planet, and denounces the loss of the values that are close to his heart: love, tolerance, peace and freedom.
Gemayel thinks outside the box to answer Gulf Today’s questions What do you think is the link between word and image? Words possess a sense of mystery, awe and fascination. Words are a form of action, capable of influencing change. The words set me in motion… a whole story that takes shape and meaning to visually flesh out the text. Images are incredibly important. “Words, words, words,” said the playwright (Shakespeare), indicating their emptiness. Particularly perhaps in the age of information overload. Do you want to comment? “Trees are poems that the earth writes on the sky.
We slaughtered them and turned them into paper, so that we could record our emptiness. »Kahlil Gibran. “I want it now!” “Do it now!” The era of overloading – there are no limits! No time! The cost of overloading is the damage done to human relationships. There seems to be less and less time for a direct person-to-person contract. How do Matisse and Klimt inspire you? Matisse to be the greatest colourist of the 20th century. The lines and the color of the painting “The dance” (latest version). Matisse’s work has a calming and calming influence on the mind.
The joy of living. The symbolism and decorative color of Gustav Klimt. The female body. The tree of life. Klimt’s illustration of a magical world… his black bird reminds us that everything has a beginning also an end. Apart from aiding movement, how does the arabesque and calligraphy inform your work? The arabesque symbolism of unity and spirituality.
The beauty of lines and rhythms through the geometric shapes of the circle, the square and the triangle, which is the starting point of my female painting. Calligraphy allows me to see every word and every sentence, like a painting allows me to put words into a story. Why do you consider the boxes that contain descriptions of yourself and your work to be black (as in the black boxes)? Black boxes contain written notes, ideas, newspaper clippings, photos, sketches, etc. collected over the years. The boxes are symbols of concealment.
If you open the box, secrets will be revealed… dark or delicious, imaginary or real… Is the brain a black box? The human brain is the most complex biological structure on Earth… in large part because the brain is so complex and dynamic that it resembles a “locked black box”. Three kilos of mystery are lodged between our ears. News, for the most part, is not a muse. But for you, it seems to be the opposite (News as Muse). Why? Muse… is to think about something thoughtfully, so I think about current events as a source of inspiration and influence in my work. Art can give people an understanding of time.
The news gives me a perspective of humanity, culture, nature, climate change, war … Visual expressions shed light on ethical issues. The news both inspires and worries me. What are your impressions of the Middle East as a Canadian-European? My first impression of the Middle East began many years ago with the discovery of the book “The Prophet” written and illustrated by Kahlil Gibran. The story … maybe it was fate to take a sabbatical in Paris … and marry a Lebanese! My impressions of the Middle East are through the eyes of my heart and the love for Lebanon.
People’s kindness is an enlightening and enriching experience. The beauty of women… the look in their eyes, the force, the generosity, their joie de vivre, their resilience, their warmth, the love for their children and their country, but above all their kindness to accept me in their hearts.