Farid Aouad (1924 – 1982)

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Born in South Lebanon in 1924, Farid Aouad lived in Paris most of his life. Aouad is best known for paintings that express solitude. He used scenes of lonely strangers in bars and cafés, people walking down the street, passengers embarking on trains and fishermen at work to convey his own feelings of loneliness. Moreover, his attachment to the familiarity between the streets of old Beirut and Paris are a recurring emotional fixture in his work.

In all the scenes he painted, his acute observation and ability to capture the life of the moment, mixed with his free yet mature graphic style of painting, were the key elements of his success. Aouad became a rare witness of artistic boldness in his generation and showed his art at numerous exhibitions in Lebanon, France, Germany and Italy. Unfortunately, his work was never fully appreciated during his lifetime and he lived out his last years in ill health and poverty.

In a 1977 letter, Aouad wrote: “I produced very little this year: always the same challenge with painting, looking for something that is still missing.”

In 1979, he wrote: “It is cold, windy, and rainy. It is not easy to work. The tourists are hiding the fishermen and their cases, but I always try to find more evident perspectives.”

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