BEIRUT AN ODE TO A CITY
There is something about Beirut that pulls you back whenever you decide to leave. A force that whets your appetite and keeps you wanting more. We don’t love to hate it, but we hate to love it. Every time I go away, I lock my feelings in my Tumi and lose the combination. Because our love for Beirut is like that of an ex-lover’s – it is dormant, but it never dies. It somehow wakes up when you distance yourself from it. But you’re always very careful that something might trigger it. A visual recollection, a song by Fairouz or that feeling of ease you never get elsewhere – you get an over flood of emotions when you think about Beirut. No matter how far you travel, what you achieve or how much money you make, to be at home and lie down without a care in the world – that is luxury. A drag queen once said, “if you don’t like it, throw some glitter on it.” We have thrown so much glitter on Beirut that we ourselves became the drags. Everyone here is a Dorothy looking for their Rubys. Some 3 million people, 18 religions and over 25 years of war have made it hard for us to see its real beauty. In MINIMAL BEIRUT, we dusted off the glitter and stripped down the city to show its true colors. We celebrate its diversity and the real people, among who are seven of the most talented Lebanese actresses who shed their PLASTIK TEARS on our pages. Beirut is a diamond in the rough. It’s how you look at it that you see the sparkle. THIS is how we see it. Don’t leave Beirut. Because it will never leave you.
If someone from the far future had to pick a painting that best depicts our time, it would be that of Alex Gross. Be it a teenager playing candy crush on her phone, a couple of Chinese housewives drowning in LV or an iPad-clad nation taking a selfie, the American pop surrealist has crystallized a visual recollection of a vast world made smaller with a click of a button. Touching upon themes like consumerism, industrializationn and self consumption, his paintings can be dubbed ironic, alarming yet surreally real.
With her perfect golden locks, long tanned limbs, and a boyfriend that gives Chris Hemsworth a run for his biceps, barbie might seem like she struck gold. But Canadian photographer Dina Goldstein has defied the common notion of perfection and challenged the true meaning of “happily ever after.” in her photographic series in the dollhouse, she reenacts barbie’s life with ken in human sized-proportions and draws a perfect image of what we don’t see beyond the pantone pink walls, proving that life in plastic may be after all not so fantastic.
In the world of Dan Lydersen, the beautiful and the gory, the pop and the neoclassical, the fictional and the real all come to interplay - somewhat forming a utopia where all these elements live in harmony. His paintings are more like a visceral moment or a dream that you don't have a recollection of: that playdate you had with Ronald Mcdonald, that never-ending stroll through the park, or that time you built a sand castle on the beach.