Every layer of work I do aspires to a different vision. I am only satisfied when I can feel the texture on the canvas, taste the colors, dive into the composition and shuffle in between the shapes. A canvas is an extension of me. If it doesn’t complete me, I am unable to call a piece “completed” until I know it is a whole with my soul.
I, Marianne Nems, was born in Beirut, Lebanon on July 12, 1969. I spent the first six years of my life in Lebanon, exposed to facets of nature I’ve never seen elsewhere all the while seeds of a civil war were budding all around me. At the age of six, I moved to France with my family.
I completed all of my higher education in Paris, France. After graduating with a Baccalaureate in Literature and Fine Arts from Lycée Claude Bernard, I moved on to L’Ecole Superieure Des Beaux Arts De Paris to study fine arts in 1991. I also completed a degree in Interior Architecture at L’Academie Charpentier in 1992.
In 1993, I began working alongside my late father, Dimitri El Nems, on large projects such as a Saudi Arabian Royal’s Palace and other large, lavish venues. As a junior designer, I had a difficult time just being a follower. However, for the sake of learning from those who knew best, I patiently put aside my ambition to innovate.
Working then was more about the production; what was scheduled needed to be done following the rules within the lines of tradition. The discipline of producing and working hard to achieve successful results was the greatest lesson learned.
Now that I had this lesson in my arsenal, it was finally time for me to seek my self-realization as an innovator.
In 1997, I moved to New York and began my work there as an Interior Architect. I was then based in Manhattan for over two decades and, in that time, successfully accomplished projects, some of which received international recognition in the design world.
Throughout my career, I’ve added a substantial amount of achievements and innovative creations to my portfolio.
In 2010, I started creating projects that involved other artists. Working as an art curator, my programs were based in organizing exhibitions in partnership with international art galleries exhibiting modern artists. Among these exhibitions are:
Angel Ortiz (also known as LA2) who was one of Keith Haring’s partners and is exhibited in MOMA in NYC, and with NYC and Miami art galleries and art fairs.
I was also engaged in motivating and sponsoring French emerging and progressive street artists including Nicolas Sauveton, aka UGLY KID GUMO, Benoit IZAR aka BIZAR with the exhibition entitled:
THIS IS OZ, NOTHING MAKES SENSE
Another curated project: NEW YORK: THE NUCLEUS
This project involved all the artists from elite graffiti artists group TATSCRU, Crash, Daze and others, all today at Tony Goldman’s Gallery.
Constantly in search of new techniques, materials, and mediums, I believe it is safe to say that I am an unconventional artist. My broad artistic work is based on my continuous practice of creating new exciting projects, whether it is about featuring new artists while curating their curriculum, or where I am the designer/artist. Through the various acts of creating art through sculpting, assembling, fastening, inventing new interlocking systems, light effects and colour harmonies, inserting semi-precious stones, developing a 3-dimensional depth effect with traditional oil painting and much more, I have found and continue to find my true nature.
At first I select the theme, then the ideas of realization come crawling one after the other on how to communicate it.
The project can be either about inventing a new way of expressing a form of art, or a topic to be revealed in a non-ordinary fashion. My art mainly focuses on innovating.
The expression needs to encapsulate the work’s essential theme while remaining elegant and appealing.
I seek to bring out deep emotion in my art. I use a contrasting combination of many tools at the time. Whether it is the media, the texture, the size, the color palette or the full composition, I love to come up with new manners of using them together.
I am always developing these ideas with the work’s essential theme in mind. In the end, it is always a story I am telling with a combination of surprises and deep emotions that bring my artworks to life.
I am only able to be satisfied when my work of art has the power to surprise even me every time I look at it.
MEDIA & TECHNIQUES:
Each canvas consists of 8 to 10 layers of paint, with its bottom layer in gesso. Using gesso allows me to create an invisible layer of subtle 3-dimensional strokes. Subsequently, I carefully select and mix the color palette and tones to achieve the 3-dimensional effect desired.
The final visual offers bright and lively colors. It leaves the eye wandering from one painting to the other in a spiral shift. It’s a true draw working on the subliminal. It is innovative and unique. For more thrills, I suggest that the viewer wears the ChromaDepthⓇ3D glasses to discover the depth of the layers in all their chromatic intensity.
Assembled Perforated Sheets
I emboss, assemble and manually bend thin metallic sheets to obtain the size and the shape desired. I then fasten them together using multiple screws of various sizes and shapes and open caps on top.
Reversible Suspended Art
I insert the perforated sheets from one side to the other using screws then hex nuts on each end “sandwiching” the metal sheets in between, which automatically draws the identical shape on the reverse of the sheet as well. It becomes a double-sided art: RECTO-VERSO
I use this technique to draw shapes, to insert stones in the caps with stones on one side for a more elaborate visual and leave the other side as is for a more rough-industrial visual.
One side carries the finished end and the other the rough side of the screw, which gives the suspended work two vastly different expressions or one set of dualisms: Elegance vs. Industrial; Crystals vs. Roughs; Finished vs. Unfinished.
For the whole duality to be visible, I suspend these pieces with a metal spring consisting of a 360 swivel base that gives it mobility. Thus, the metal sheet can easily be turned to show both sides when desired. The suspension also allows the media to glow when it moves.
Lighting & Shadowing
I use LED strips to add a backlit glow that creates more depth to the piece. This also serves to create a natural contour around the whole of the piece as well.
I also make use of natural candle light throughout the perforated patterns. The raw candlelight flicker materializes in the form of a moving shadow on the wall in the form of the pattern itself.
Crystal, Semi-Precious Stone & Metal Leaf Appliqué
I insert crystals and other semi-precious stones by hand, inside the screw caps and the perforated metallic sheets as part of the color palette.
I also apply metal leafing including, gold, silver, colored aluminum and copper.
Paper-mache - Spray paint - Resin - Mother of pearl - Stencil