From February 16 till March 2, 2012, Ayyam Gallery Beirut is pleased to present a new series of works by renowned photojournalist, Ammar Abd Rabbo, in his first artistic exhibition entitled ‘Coming Soon’.
A chronicler of life’s events, capturing nearly every moment from the poverty stricken on the street to the world’s nobility and celebrated figures, Ammar changes his lens to provide a less objective view of the world. Ammar’ s new photographic works transport the viewer beyond the wall of informality providing a privileged look into one of life’s most intimate spheres.Nude yet cloaked in shadow, the figure appears in stark silhouette against pure white or vividly luminous, almost sonorous, backgrounds. This duality heightens the intimacy, as if we, the viewer, are encroaching upon her solitude. Yet her emboldened poses welcome visitors to glimpse upon this hidden personal world. Head tilted towards the heavens in exhalation, arms clasped in an embrace around her unborn child, even with her head shielded from the lens in a pensive, internalized moment, the familiarity and connection with the subject is tenable.
Though cloaked in darkness, she does not shy away; her strength and calm of pose directly meets the gaze of the viewer. The standing, profile postures amplify the fortitude of the softer sex in its most vulnerable yet empowered state. The simple composition of a silhouette offset with a richly colored backdrop creates a strikingly modern approach to portraiture. Standing proud or reclined with an arched back, the woman portrayed is a strong symbol of modern femininity and sexuality, directly referencing age-old fertility goddesses. This mixture of ancient symbolism and modern realism is present in all of Ammar’ s photographic works.
Born in Damascus in 1966, Ammar Abd Rabbo lived in Libya and Lebanon prior to ultimately residing in France in 1978. As one of the Arab world’s most important photojournalists, his work has been published in the world’s most widely circulated publications, from the ‘Time Magazine’, to ‘Paris Match’, ‘Der Spiegel’, ‘Le Monde’, and ‘Asharq Al Awsat’, where he signed more than 60 magazine covers. From a twenty-year career, his portfolio amassed intimate portraits of head of states, war coverage in Iraq, Lebanon and Libya, world-renowned celebrities like the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, as well as high society events such as the Cannes Film Festival and Paris Fashion Week.