Arleb by Nabad interviews young visual artist Amir Shaaban who won second place in the Lebanese Ministry of Education art competition for schools in 2018.
Arleb by Nabad – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most, and which subjects are you working on?
Amir Shaaban – Art is a part of who I am, I create art in everything I do and in my everyday life. I am particularly inspired by nature which plays a huge role in my art journey. I used to spend most of my time as a child in nature, with animals, and that helped me develop my creativity. Furthermore, I get inspired from observing people’s different perspectives, approaches and techniques used in their artworks. In my artworks, I mainly focus on themes that hold choreography meanings and purposes. I like to tell a story evolving from simple colors and expressing my emotions, feelings, relations… The art that I do is very much impressionistic as contemporary in style; it is a story told by the medium of colors, structure and shape rather than words.
Arleb by Nabad – What is your creative process like?
Amir Shaaban – I like to make each art piece special and unique by putting my personality in it, as well as my artistic touch and voice. I like to connect with my artworks with my inner soul to captivate viewers.
Arleb by Nabad – What was the impact of the Beirut port explosions (August 4, 2020) on your work as an artist/creative enterprise?
Amir Shaaban – It is no secret that the Beirut’s explosion had a huge impact on my personal art journey. It was also a push and a call for all Lebanese artists to express and spread their stories to the whole world through art which constitutes a powerful tool facing violence, often more powerful than words.
Arleb by Nabad – What are, according to you, the roles of arts and culture in social, economic, environmental or political change?
Amir Shaaban – Art has a tremendous role in change. Art is more than colors on canvas, or simple forms and specific mediums. I believe there are always messages behind every artistic gesture or production. It may be a local call, an impression or an expression, as it could be a global way to express ourselves and our feelings as individuals and communities.
Arleb by Nabad – What are, according to you, the main challenges/obstacles facing artists/creative enterprises in Lebanon nowadays?
Amir Shaaban – Artists are not being supported and motivated by the Lebanese state and its cultural institutions. There are practically no national art exhibitions, competitions, workshops or prizes to motivate artists to improve their work, or even to produce artworks. Furthermore, art collectors are rare to find in Lebanon, especially nowadays with the socioeconomic crisis prevailing. Let alone the difficulty of finding many individuals who would have an interest in arts, extensive artistic knowledge, or who would appreciate the deep meanings of art.