During the last edition of the Arte Laguna Prize, the Lebanese artist Jad El Khoury (Beirut, 1988) collected success after success, taking home three victories.In addition to being the absolute winner of the Land Art and Urban Art section, he was selected for two art residencies: Farm Cultural Park (Sicily) and Nuart Festival (Norway).
These days he arrived in Norway to take part in the new edition of Nuart Festival, one of the main events in the world dedicated to street art and urban culture, which takes place every September in the city of Stavanger. Through the creation of public works of art, Nuart aims to challenge existing narratives, generate new ideas, and push the boundaries of what constitutes public and private space.
Each year it provides a platform for national and international artists who operate outside of the traditional art establishment, inviting them them to leave their mark on the city’s walls, creating one of Europe’s most dynamic and constantly evolving public art events. The focus of the new edition is the evocative intersection of memory and the city, and the role of art on the streets in unraveling and reworking a city’s collective memories.
Moreover, this year Nuart Festival has partnered with Arte Laguna Prize to offer an art residency during the festival. The choice fell on Jad El Khoury, who proved to be the perfect choice for this award assigned by Nuart. With his powerful project Burj el Hawa (The Tower of Wind), Jad has transformed an entire abandoned building in the center of Beirut into a delicate and choreographic object, in which the colored curtains installed by the artist move in the wind between the empty and open windows of the tower. Bringing this abandoned building back to life, Jad El Khoury sought to heal the collective memory of his city, imagining new futures and proving to be an artist well aware of the long-term effects that wars and conflicts can have on people.
During his stay in Stavanger, Jad created a site-specific intervention for Nuart reminiscent of The Tower of Wind, which has become one of his most emblematic and representative works, demonstrating the great impact that creative acts of rebellion like this can have worldwide.
Jad El Khoury
Born in Baabda, Lebanon in 1988, Jad El Khoury is a street artist and interior architect. His main intent is to bring attention to social and political issues through public art installations. He is best known for his fictional characters, defined Potate Nose, who draws on the damaged buildings of Beirut, highlighting the bullet holes left by the passage of the civil war.