Citing both Jean-Michel Basquiat and Frida Kahlo as influences, Beirut-based artist Joe Abou Jawdeh moves the graphic styles of those artists forward. “My work expresses real life in color,” he says, “freedom and new beginnings.” The artist expresses that freedom through a painting style that combines clear, compelling compositions with a wide range of techniques and a varied color palette. He calls his work “modern, realistic and serene,” and in it all three of those elements come into play. The resulting paintings feel both contemporary and timeless.
Working in acrylics on canvas, he takes advantage of the intensity that acrylics provide — giving pinks, blues and yellows, as well as subtle earth tones, an immediacy that communicates with the viewer. That immediacy is made even stronger by the textural variety of his paintings. Drips intersect with written text and intricately rendered figures to create works that have a dynamic surface tension as well as a solidly grounded sense of structure. The artist says his aim is to mirror “different perspectives of reality,” and his images vividly create that mirror.