Artnet Partners With Août Gallery Founder Zeid El-Amine on a Special Sale of Artworks That Dream of a Better World
The gallery, founded in Lebanon in 2021, is named in tribute to the art dealer's father.
Août Gallery founder Zeid El-Amine never planned to open his gallery in Beirut. But when catastrophic explosions rocked the Lebanese city on August 4, 2020, killing more than 200 and injuring more than 7,000 others, El-Amine had a change of heart. Among the victims of the tragic event was El-Amine’s father, Iyad El-Amine, a civil engineer who resided in the neighborhood of Gemmayzeh, a cultural hub close to the port.
“After the explosion, everything changed,” said El-Amine, who once dreamt of opening a gallery in Europe. “I felt like [Beirut’s Gemmayzeh neighborhood] was sacred for me. Reopening the doors for arts and culture and helping revive the cultural landscape in this area was the right thing to do.”
So the 25-year-old began building Août Gallery from the ground up, opening it in March 2021. The name Août (August in French) has a dual meaning: a tribute to his father, it also suggests the traditional month of closure and healing.
The gallery’s first group show, “Young Dreams,” included artists Natalie Wadlington, Jin Han Lee, Andrew Maughan, and Isabelle McCormick, among others. Then, in August 2021, El-Amine presented “Moon Garden,” a solo exhibition by South Korean artist Minyoung Kim. The title suggested, in part, the omnipresence of the moon, a symbol of hope for the artist.
Now, in partnership with Artnet’s Buy Now platform, Août Gallery is presenting a selection of 13 stunning paintings by eight artists from around the world.
Each artist has a distinct style, but the works have in common a vibrant color scheme and a hopeful message.
“It’s not realistic,” El-Amine explained. “But we’re not talking about realism. It’s good to dream sometimes, of a hopeful and happy world.”
Works by Benjamin Cabral, such as Self-Portrait (Catching Friend) and Fantasy Landscape (Friend), examine the intersections between trauma and nostalgia, joy and sorrow, and the digital and the analog. Cabral’s paintings are largely autobiographical in nature, creating an honest yet inherently unreliable portrait of himself.
American artist Dustin Brown is interested in our search for purpose. His work reflects the emotional ups and downs of finding one’s way in the world.
“I took moments that I felt were hard, or difficult transitions in life, and wanted to make something a little more positive out of it,” the artist said.
Such stylistic choices run parallel to the vision of Août Gallery.
As El-Amine said: “I tried to build something beautiful in response to something very tragic.”
Buy Now: Août Gallery is live through May 26, with all artworks available for immediate purchase. Click through to explore works by Florine Imo, Debbie Reda, Olamide Ogunade Olisco, Fortune Hunter, Benjamin Cabral, Isabelle McCormick, Dustin Brown, and Einar Lúðvík Ólafsson.
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