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Lot title: Nature Morte no. 13041975

 
Lot description:

Acrylic on canvas
170 x 200 cm (66.93 x 78.74 in.), two vertical panels each 170 x 100 cm (66.93 x 39.37 in.)
Executed in 2009
Signed ‘Oussama Baalbaki’ in Arabic on the mid bottom and dated 09

 Provenance:   Agial Art Gallery, Lebanon

 Literature and references:

This piece won the silver medal for second price at "Les Jeux de la Francophonie Beyrouth 2009", an event celebrated by local newspapers ( Download articles )

 Exhibited:

UNESCO palace Beirut, for the duration of "Les Jeux de la Francophonie Beyrouth 2009".
The painting is printed in page 48 of the exhibition catalog. ( Download catalog )

Exhibited at FFA Private Bank in Beirut from 04th March till 04th May 2010 ( Download invitation card )
 



 

Artwork note:

Initially this somber still life painting of a bullet – sieved autobus from the seventies gives away nothing but the monochromatic insight to a dark past event. It provokes feelings of imposing awe with its deserted seats and otherworldly presence. As haunting as it may be for the unfamiliar eye, it could easily be regarded as a mere depiction of a neighborhood shoot-out a few decades earlier. However, to the people of Lebanon, or those who are aware of contemporary Lebanese history, the painting is instantly recognizable as the image we intimately refer to as ‘Bostet Ain El Remmaneh’, with it’s title ‘13th April 1975’ reminding us of the date the civil war started.

On that grim Sunday, a bus carrying Palestinian Fedayeen and Lebanese sympathizers was attacked as it passed through the Christian suburb of Ain El Remmaneh. In the bus, twenty-seven passengers were killed and nineteen were wounded. Palestinians accused the Phalangists of ambushing the bus, who subsequently blamed the Palestinians for provoking the trouble. As news of the shooting spread through Beirut; armed Palestinians, leftists, and Phalangists raced to their battle stations in the belt of suburbs, where tension already was high. The conflagration had begun.

The disturbing focal point chosen by Oussama, coupled with the push and pull technique skillfully used to apply the white and black colors results in a chilling and unforgettable painting. This image, along with its political past, suggests a ghost of a bus seemingly coming straight from hell, inviting the visitor to climb aboard. Would you care for a ride? ( Original bus photos )

 

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