Beirut Artist Makes Good At PotatoMike’s First Pop-Up Gallery
Sometimes you read a book or see art that makes you say, “Amazing. I wish I could just sit down and have a conversation with that person.”
Yeah. That’s my job.
And Beirut native, Paula Chahine makes that kind of art.
Then I saw this on her website: “My paintings are a pure manifestation of my guiltless search for my own happiness, in a world that condemns rational and peaceful minds.” I must admit, I had a bit of an art crush.
So, when I saw Paula at the PotatoMike pop-up show February 2, in Manhattan, I made sure to offer her a sparkling beverage and take a few minutes of her time.
Hey Paula, what can you tell me about the work you have hanging here tonight?
These two paintings are a good example of what I do. I really love caricature and a childish theme. So the one on the right is very much like that (ED: Sorry fans, that one got sold in the first few minutes of the show). It’s funny, in a childish way. The other one is more sarcastic and controversial. I like my art to have both of those elements. I like Disney. I kind of live in a Disneyworld in my head, so I like to paint that way too.
What do you think is the role of art in the world today?
Art makes me happy, it asks questions, gives answers.
Art is a language. And it tells a story. I think it is important to hear people’s stories. I like art to have some soul, some sweat in it and I think that is important in the world too.
I came from a place where conflict is normal. And it is almost impossible to not express this in my work. Whether it’s anger, hope or happiness, it’s important to have that in there.
Who has influenced you the most in your life and in your art?
I am influenced by family, friends. But much of my art is influenced by my relationships, by the men in my life and my ex’es. My art comes from the people around me. I am deeply touched by the people in my life. They bring me emotion and you have to have emotions to know you are human.
What do you think the world needs more of right now?
The world needs more love than success, more down to earth than ego, some people are too much hung up with money and not enjoying life.
I just want to enjoy. Don’t You agree?
Yes, yes, yes! (blushes noticeably)