[Henry Jabbour. (2019). Henry Jabbour. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Nov. 2019].]

I have known and loved the artist’s paintings for a few years now, but only now that I have decided to look at his practice in more detail, have I found his drawings which I connect to as equally.


What draws me to his work, is something I explained in terms of the other artists I have looked at previously this term – the depiction of the human condition as something RAW, AUTHENTIC, SHIFTING, FLAWED – a flux of being

figures blending and blurring with the background

emerging from a cloud of marks and brushstrokes

conveying the process of appearing and disappearing – a constant movement – a flux

An artist responding to their experience of a person

Generalisation of shapes, forms and tones – which embraces visual indeterminacy

“His subjects are people and their relationships, either to each other or to the artist. The images are tender and full of emotional maturity. Each is carefully considered and composed; they look outward to the world and inward to the artist’s humanity

[Henry Jabbour. (2019). Henry Jabbour. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Nov. 2019].]

Again, quite a phenomenological approach to creating art.

By observing the subject the artist is interacting with it, forming a connection – a relationship – the relationship is reciprocal – the artist and the subject influence each other with their presence and communication (whether verbal or gestural)

allows not only to explore the physical attributes of the subject but also our subjective response to them and thus what the artist produces is a reflection of their emotional approach / response to the subject – the emotional impact that the reciprocal relationship has on them – the visual outcome is a result of the artist’s response to the sensory information of that space and thus it conveys the essence of the subject in their eyes


“The Paintings are richly coloured but roughly brushed so that the figures, while vigorously present, also seem to be struggling to preserve their identity in the stream of time and space

[Henry Jabbour. (2019). Henry Jabbour. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Nov. 2019].]

I also see this technique as an approach of depicting ambiguity of the person’s identity – here it doesn’t have to be the sitter’s identity per se – but by capturing the figure in their moving essence this technique has the capacity of conveying uncertainty of their identity – because unless the artist knows the person closely they might be unsure whether the essence they captured in that time and space is indeed true to the subject – or whether they created this version of them in their own reality

This technique is very useful in conveying a struggle for identity – the image is unclear – it has to be examined and observed to determine its meaning – would be useful to further consider in my own work, where there is a struggle for preserving memory and identity – a struggle for finding a sense of belonging – where this technique could emphasise the disconnection and displacement – being in a space, but their being is uncertain, perhaps not quite right, not quite fitting or suitable for the space?

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