Art Corner: Paul Beanti
events of the revolution have deeply touched and influenced many artists living
in Egypt. Paul Beanti is one such artist. Beanti – a pseudonym for the artist – had a difficult experience during the revolution, both psychologically and
physically speaking. Arrested during the first week of February, the artist
said he ‘became obsessed by a sense of dramatic realism,’ and his works lead to
a distorted vision. Art Corner Gallery hosts his latest
exhibition until October 23rd.
French artist Paul Beanti has no art education, a fact that he is very proud of.
He started drawing and painting in London in 2005. His pseudonym comes from a
complicated period in his life and refers to a gaping wound – béant
is French for wide open, not yet healed over. He came to Egypt in June 2010 after finding
an old photograph of Amr Mosque. He lived in Sayeda Zeinab, where he often
wandered through Souk al Gomaa, which gave him considerable inspiration for his paintings and use of colours.
by the human misery in Souq El Gomaa after the fire in July 2010, he started
creating his own colours using ashes, oxides and natural pigments found on the
ground in order to paint with, as he calls them, the ‘surviving elements’. This
took him a lot of time and effort, and it’s one of the most important
characteristics of his latest artistic production.
crucial element of his exhibition is a chair that represents mankind’s
need to appear, an empty chair that gives a sense of desperate vacuity. Taking
into account that we are all human beings with no differences, everyone can
have a sit in this chair. At the same time, no one knows who the real sitter is.
This is the reason why the artist humanizes the object, creating a human shadow
This is the theme of the 150×150 painting entitled Chairs and Shadows. The human shadows are
always the extension of the chairs. We are all
linked to this object, as if we were imprisoned or try to hide from what we
really are. The Prisoners, Chairs and Shadows shows a human shadow
handcuffed to a chair and it is one of the strongest examples of this concept.
obsession reoccurs in all the artist’s paintings. His sense of anxiety, also
expressed by the powerful colours and the large size of his works, comes from
the need of maintaining appearances and labels in contemporary society. Beanti created a skull, which is his seal, and uses it
in many of his paintings to denounce the categories imposed on us by society.
attempt at escapism also caused a sort of identity crisis in the artist. In his
numerous self-portraits, Beanti mirrors himself, creating a sense of
disorientation in the spectator.
the eighteen large paintings, the exhibition also hosts six small drawings, three
black-framed paintings, and three glass frames paintings. All the works are on
sale at a wide price range.