Self-Portrait, Hawaii, 2013


Archival pigment ink on archival cotton-rag paper

50 x 75 cm

In a twilight landscape of palm trees with dark lines, the artist's silhouette stands out against the light. Dressed in a light djellaba and turning his back to the viewer, he contemplates a horizon outside the frame in a low-angle shot. The sky's tart colour, created using a hand-tinting technique, gives the scene a strong dreamlike dimension.

Egyptian photographer Youssef Nabil attaches particular importance to self-portraiture, which he closely associates with his personal experience of exile. He left his country in 2003 to live freely from his art. Since then, he has depicted himself as a solitary walker on his travels, seen from behind contemplating a silent if not indefinite landscape.

Acquired by the Pinault Collection, Self-Portrait, Hawaii, 2013 is being presented for the first time during Nabil's 2020 solo show "Once Upon A Dream" at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.