Born in 1959, Lebanese-Canadian artist Joseph Chahfe received a Bachelor in Fine Artsfrom the university of Quebec, Montreal in 1987. Working in painting and installation, he has exhibited regularly in the Arab world and abroad since the 1990s in both group shows and solo exhibitions, most notably at such institutions as the Katzen Arts Center of American university in Washington DC, the Arab World institute in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in Cartagena, Colombia, which owns his work as part of its permanent collection. Recently he has been featured at the Sultan Gallery in Kuwait and in Art Dubai and Art Abu Dhabi in the uAE. He is currently represented by Galerie Janine Rubeiz in Beirut.
Chahfe’s acrylic on canvas paintings are distinguished by a focus on texture and surface that results from the separating of two works that have been glued together, leaving a kind of stamp of layered remains. This emphasizes the traces of a previous unity, acting as evidence of greater things and creates profound overtones along the way. As the artist explains, “The material becomes a medium of expression because it is the infrastructure of the relationship between man and culture, a story lived by memory.”
Describing his artistic process, Chahfe has revealed:
“There are two phases to the work: one is controllable while the other trickles from a game of forced coincidence. it is all a game of haphazard, which brings a surge to the texture with a basis signifying time. it is a way of hiding and discovering to bring signs carrying ambiguity between their status of blood bearer and their status of illegible signs”.