Press – L’Hebdo Magazine – I Want

The Determined Artist

Beirut – May 17, 2002

I want, I want … As an energetic, active artist and gallery owner, Sara Badr wants… Like the rest of us, she wants many things. Her art event, composed of paintings and a film, was held at the Strange Fruit nightclub through 16 May. The message is clear and direct.

“I want white and black, I want to cry laugh cry laugh cry laugh, I want things that all of you want.” Sara Badr’s exhibit is composed of paradoxes. “Life is full of paradoxes and human beings are always in search of balance. They often want many things–and their exact opposite.” Some of the paintings are in black and white, and others use shades of yellow, blue and pink, derived from primary colors.

“In this exhibit, I seek the instinctive freedom we all lose as we experience life and gain wisdom. Little by little, human beings lose their freedom and individuality and conform to a mould not necessarily of their choosing. My work involves an effort to recover that primitive sense of freedom.” The theme of freedom runs throughout her paintings–the whirling dervish dances, seeking to rise from the ground, and another woman tries to fly.

Badr has come up with the unusual idea of selling lengths of her paintings. Playing on words in French, she refers to them as “toiles de maître au mètre” (masterworks by the meter).

Badr’s huge paintings are based on the principles of silkscreen, so buyers can cut off a section and purchase just that part of the canvas.

The exhibit is being held in a night club “to challenge conventional wisdom,” Badr says. “I want the paintings to be seen by people who are not coming just to see art. The film and the title of the exhibit are in English because I think the message is more direct in that language.”