Marwan Sahmarani is primarily a painter whose works relate to art history, with its timeless and recurrent themes, but also to contemporary life and to his own experiences. His works draw from both his Western cultural education and to his oriental identity, blending Islamic and Mesopotamian art and iconography with that of ancient Greece, Rome and the great masters of the Western Renaissance. Diverse themes including politics, sociology, war and sexuality, and allusions to his cultural background and experience of war and exile are all dealt with in his work. Sahmarani uses oil, ink and watercolor as his primary mediums of expression and has created a unique language that is at once raw, and bare as it is sumptuous.
Born in Lebanon in 1970, Sahramani currently lives and works in Beirut. With an archetypal biography specific to his generation, he left Lebanon in 1989 and moved to Paris to study at l’École Supérieur d’Art Graphique. He has had solo exhibitions in Beirut, London, Montreal and Dubai and group exhibitions in Washington and Mexico. His works have also featured in ‘Told/ Untold /Retold’ at Mathaf, Doha (2010), ‘All about Beirut’ at Kunsthalle whiteBOX, Munich (2010) and the ‘The Feast of the Damned’ at the Museum of Art and Design, New York (2010). In 2010 Sahmarani was the recipient of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize and his work ‘The Feast of the Damned’ was showcased at Art Dubai that year.