Bittersweet portraits

Visual Sunday

The road from Hamra to Gemmayze on a Friday afternoon is no piece of cake. After spending an hour and a half with a service driver on the verge of having a nervous breakdown, we finally arrive at Demo, the café where Loulwa Beydoun is waiting. She had spent the time waiting drawing in her sketchbook, with black and red pens.

With her recognizable hairdo, the same one she always draws when illustrating herself, this 17 year-old is an interesting character. She always drew, but during the past year, her sketches have acquired their one identifiable feature: a simplicity reminiscent of naïve art with very few colors, as if to better convey her thoughts and feelings.

This is shown through the small details adorning her drawings, like drops of blood, a bullet-injured body, and a tired look in the eyes of the subjects. She says that she draws to recreate and remember her experiences.

Throughout our conversation, Loulwa keeps questioning how the viewer understands her drawings. Anyone can interpret her art in a different way. On many of her works, she draws holes in her head and heart. Her simple explanation to that is that one feels less pain when the thinking and the feelings go away. It’s a sort of catharsis and through drawing pain, she can get rid of her own.

Loulwa sketches whatever passes through her mind. She often draws in an automatic manner, without necessarily having an idea of what she is depicting. It is only when she finishes that she fully understands what she meant to show. Her sketches are never bigger than A4 format “I can’t express myself the same way when the paper size is bigger. I find myself more in the smallness.”

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14 thoughts on “Bittersweet portraits

  1. Admired ur work…vibrant wth pain and yet a thrive for rescue..a pleade to the unknown…a flirt wth death…choice of media ,colour scheme convey the message successfully…bravo loulwa

  2. Loulwa’s art is the first ever to which i feel a deep connection to. Her illustrations are so powerful and true. Her honest expression speaks to me and i am moved. I am a proud owner of two of her illustrations and look forward to collecting more from the wisest 17 year old i know! <3

  3. LOVE, Love, Love.
    Loulwa’s drawings and sketches are so authentic, so pure, so full of the “adolescence” pain and suffering they go through to finally mature.
    I wish for her to keep her authenticity, when joy finally flows into her being.
    I can predict much success. :D

  4. her work pinched and put a hole in my heart…just great for any age. yes, may she know joy, and never stop creating great art!

  5. I love her work! When I look at what she has created I feel this connection to the feelings she has taken the time to convey. Where can I purchase one of her pieces as I am in Canada?

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