Interview with Suzi Fadel Nassif
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? and your first experience in art making?
Suzi Fadel Nassif is an artist born in the heart of Lebanon, but have resided in Dubai for over twenty years.
Ever since a very young age, I was aware of my orientation towards visual arts. My notebooks were filled with various sketches, artistic fonts and vivid colors. I took –and continue to take – pleasure in finding beauty in everything. My eyes and mind have become accustomed to admiring and analyzing details, colors and textures. I had always known I would follow my artistic dreams, wherever they may take me. Perhaps what inspired me most whilst working with Paulo Coelho, the author of the Alchemist, as his agent in the Middle East are his great books and divine messages and quotes like this one for example the quote about our personal legend: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to help you achieve it.”
Everything started in 2006; again it was “The Lebanon” impact that shocked my artistic system after a long coma! It was The monster again: "War"; I felt I was being stuck in a cage yet in a beautiful garden called Lebanon.. The awakening of my artistic journey erupted for 33 days of horror, I found myself painting recklessly, endlessly, helplessly.. I rediscovered the art of painting; I knew that I had found Again my “calling”! It was my only exile! But also the birth of a journey! I am certain that it pushed me to expand my horizons and tap into new areas of painting, I Always need/want to explore. Art has been and continues to be, the main outlet of my feelings; I was deeply attracted by the effects of colors, textures and the emotional echo to strong composition and design. Today, my work is a bold mix of styles and colors, and each artwork tells a unique story. My main goal is to create living emotions in my paintings. For me, it revolves essentially around the crave to create and the art of creation..
I decided in Feb 2015 to do my 1st solo because I felt my work looks like me! It expresses all the comedies and tragedies we encounter in our lives, and I wanted to say it out Loud and I did and still Do!
How would you describe yourself and your artwork?
I could be like Scheherazade, a storyteller, since I am enchanted by people’s stories even by their facial reactions in different situations; whether in tragedies or comedies…
I mentally collect gazes and expressions and represent it in my paintings with a twist of surrealism in order to awaken emotions in the viewer and tell a different tale in each painting specifically.
I am fascinated by the surrealism, as I feel we are composed of 2 elements, reality and dream. When we sleep, we dream and some dreams could be strange or questionable and totally different from our reality; this is what I like to portray in my Artworks, the poetic realistic/surrealistic connection that exists in between.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am totally inspired by our “reality Show” on a daily basis. When reading an article, or watching the news, or listening to a speech, or conversing with someone or even with myself!
Yes there’s always something happening everyday in our world, a vicious circle of major events and as an artist I portray it sometimes in a face, or a figure or a use of a certain color to create a surrealistic Art based on this reality!
What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?
Art is a spiritual sphere created by physical mediums and when my paintings are hanged in homes and galleries it is similar as sharing a piece of my soul with their world. It is a genuine and a divine connection between me and the viewer. I know they can relate deeply to every painting; the impact is always different, sometimes it’s laughter, or a surprise, even tears in few situations! it’s total Honesty!
When do you know that an artwork is finished?
For every story you read or a movie you watch there’s “The End” ! it is the same in a painting! Somehow the painting asks me or yells at me at some point to stop! There’s always a conversation between the artist and the painting… a dialogue, a debate, a meeting and once it’s totally manifested in colors and figures on that canvas it has to finally End!
What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
Too many moments I believe! it is an endless List but 1st thing that comes to my mind is My 1st solo exhibition in Dubai and My 1st international Award and I guess every time I touch someone deeply with my Art; that’s the most exciting so far.
How long does it take to produce one work?
Sometimes a day, other times an eternity; even the Famous Monalisa is unfinished!
I strongly believe there’s no physical time frame or rule. As I mentioned earlier once the story is manifested totally on the surface of that canvas, than I can say it is finished and this could take any desired unit of time; each painting is produced by different emotional details, colors and textures, it all depends…
What exciting projects are you working on right now? Can you share some of the future plans for your artworks?
Well I have exhibited in most major cities around the world, however haven’t showed my art in my beloved Lebanon yet. This is on my list as Lebanon is one of the main reasons I started my career.
Additionally, I am discovering a potential collaboration with fashion designers to implement my art in their designs as well as to produce hand-made organic scented candles where each painting would tell a story by its aroma- art would get a different shape and would become multi-sensorial.
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions we should know about?
I have an upcoming solo exhibition “Paradox” at Saphira & Ventura Gallery in New York on the 31st of May, 2018 as well as I will be participating in Tokyo International Art Fair this month.
Where do you see your art going in five years?
I guess this is one of the hardest questions to answer… I never think of a destination but a journey, and so far it has been great. I do not know where my art will go in five years, but as long as it touches people, my mission is complete.