Youssef Nabil

November 4 – December 23, 2010

 Youssef Nabil

Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of hand-colored photographs by Youssef Nabil. The exhibition will open on November 4 and close on December 23, with a reception for the artist on Thursday, November 4, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York.

Youssef Nabil’s hand-colored gelatin silver prints are carefully crafted portraits inspired by Egyptian movie posters and films of the 1940s and 1950s. Mr. Nabil photographs actors, artists, friends and himself in glamorous, melodramatic staged scenes that recall stills from the golden era of Egyptian cinema. He meticulously enhances his black-and-white prints with watercolor and pencil using traditional hand-coloring techniques. By combining photography and painting, the artist transforms his subjects into romantic icons and grants them an air of cinematic immortality.

Mr. Nabil’s work also includes formal studio portraits as well as more intimate images. Recently, he has begun to produce a series of self-portraits, which reflect his disconnection from his roots in Egypt. Mr. Nabil’s hand-coloring technique smoothes over the blemishes of reality and evokes a sense of longing and nostalgia, linking the contemporary with an earlier era.

Youssef Nabil’s photographs have been exhibited internationally at the British Museum, London; Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle; Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Germany; Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla; and Aperture Foundation, New York. Mr. Nabil’s first film “You Never Left” starring actors Fanny Ardant and Tahar Rahim, will be screened at the inaugural exhibition of the Museum of Modern Art in Qatar in December 2010. His monographs, Sleep in My Arms (2007) and I won’t let you die (2008), are available at the gallery. Mr. Nabil was born in 1972 in Cairo and currently lives and works in New York.