This year at Affordable Art Fair Amsterdam (31 Oktober – 3 November) we are proud to host ME Art Gallery Amsterdam’s SOLO exhibition of works by Jad El Khoury. In addition to the works on show at the fair Jad will also be creating a mural on the outside of De Kromhouthal which will be completed in the week leading up the fair.
Based in Lebanon, Jad is an artist renowned for his adorning Beirut’s war scars with his colourful street art. His work passionately calls for better universal human connection.
We caught up with Jad to find out more about the artist behind the ‘potato NOSE’ characters:
MEET THE ARTIST: JAD EL KHOURY
CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT HOW YOUR CAREER AS AN ARTIST BEGAN?
I have been travelling to wonderlands in my mind since childhood. Doodling has been my flight ticket for as long as I can remember. Simple lines that I draw unconsciously, and then take back control to add some eyes and noses, suddenly faces start to appear creating a crowd of characters I call Potato Nose. I was forced so many times at school to erase my potato noses from the class table, but this never stopped me, and today they can be seen on many buildings in different cities around the world.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR STUDIO?
My days at the studio are full of finishing tasks like studies for installations, building proposals, answering emails, painting and doodling. Through some luck, connections and hard work, today my work is in high demand from many art collectors, institutions, galleries and cities.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Nadim Karam’s WhatsApp status: “Wake up, you have eternity to sleep”
WHAT DO YOU HOPE VIEWERS EXPERIENCE WHEN VIEWING YOUR WORK?
While looking all the details of my illustrations; following the fluid lines, discovering all the faces, my hope is to disconnect the viewers, even if it’s for seconds, from the reality we know.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
Climbing illegally on a 100m high building in Beirut, to paint around war traces.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ABOUT AFFORDABLE ART FAIR AMSTERDAM 2019?
This is my third participation at the Affordable Art Fair with ME Art Gallery Amsterdam. What I look forward to the most is the amazing rush you get from meeting thousands of people that come from so many different countries and backgrounds!
We’re so looking forward to seeing Jad’s colourful characters come to life through his mural at the Amsterdam fair. Buy a ticket in advance to get the best prices and join us in disconnecting from reality.
Artist, Jad El Khoury.
Featured art from first to last:
Jad El Khoury, who will be creating a mural at Affordable Art Fair Amsterdam.
Jad El Khoury, Potato nose design Boom 08.
Jad el Khoury, Connection, 2019, Ink on Cardboard, €395, 20 x 14.5 cm, ME Art Gallery Amsterdam.
Jad creating an artwork in Beirut, credit to Tamsyn Burgmann/The Canadian Press.