Shawki Youssef was born in Baalbek in 1973. He grew up in Akkar, a rural area in northern Lebanon. At school, he draws constantly.
At the Lebanese University of Fine Arts, he was influenced by Toulouse-Lautrec and Egon Schiele, German Expressionists, and the London School. From Renaissance art, he retained above all the invention of perspective, and Giotto's figures float in "flat spaces", not representing reality.
Began working as a calligrapher, "the painter of Arabic letters", he exercised his ingenuity and discovered real pleasure in relation to the form, rhythm, and tension of the page.
He has exhibited regularly for over twenty years and taught at major universities in Lebanon, including the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and the American University of Beirut.
Twenty-five years later, he was opposed by his wife, and now he draws the lines, an instrument that translates his grief and anger in Lebanon into complete regression. It blindly engraves the paper, then the ink comes in to reveal the subtle curves and furious action of blade scraping.
This exhibition provides an opportunity to read Shawki Youssef's double quest: to draw gestures, bodies, and attitudes that touch him, and to find a way of expression that expresses his relationship to the world and society.
And as he said: “All my drawings are written first, and my work can be read like memories. The story I tell is the story of my surroundings, and the paper I write on is made of these figurative objects.”
The exhibition of Shawki Youssef "Tracés 1994 - 2021" will open on Friday 19 November and will last till the first of December, at Agence 360 - Paris, so do not hesitate to visit.