Past Exhibition / Youssef Nabil
February 24 - March 15, 2007
Youssef Nabil's long awaited solo show at The Third Line is finally here. With his unmistakable style, Nabil shoots his subjects bare of any make-up on high contrast black and white film to then meticulously apply the necessary maquillage manually onto the prints.
Utilising this old hand coloring method commercially used in the 30's, Nabil creates seductive eye candy prints that always seem to walk a thin line between contrived superficiality and an eerily penetrating gaze into the "characters" photographed. Equally recognizable is Nabil's subject matter: displaced nostalgic retro and quirky sexual cliche applied to diva-esque figures like Fifi Abdou, Samira Said and Laila Elwy as well as an array of regional and international art icons such as Ghada Amer, Sherin Neshat, Nan Goldin, Tracey Emin...and of course himself.
Nabil reveals himself to be tapped into, as well as a product of a globalized circulation of images and culture. We find ourselves exposed as voyeurs witnessing the aftermath of ambiguously deviant sexual acts, or sharing a window view with a seemingly unaware subject from over his/her shoulder.