LebanonArt press


Paintings by Matar: The Alpha and the Omega. A trinity of celestial visions, enchanted esthetics and humanism -
Joseph Matar: Wealth of Artistic creativity and abundance of mesmerizing multidimensional colors.

The artist is an intriguing, prophetic and captivating presence which transcended the frontiers of conventionalism and the limitations of the power of mind and esthetical visions. For he is a poet, a philosopher, a published author, an academician, a religious visionary, a painter, a raconteur and...probably, the last of the illustrious "true artists" of the Near East. Classically trained, nourished with French and Lebanese culture, traditions, history and arts, Mr Joseph Matar continued to discover new themes and new esthetical landscapes through his religious and philosophical contemplations. Admirably he paints sceneries and landscapes of the magical lands of Lebanon, its old warm and ethnic houses, colorful villages, faces of shepherds and peasants, small town gatherings, weddings, prairies and enchanted mountains enrobed in captivating horizons and memories of the Grand Orient and his majestic homeland. Equally grandiose and lyrical is his style of blending and creating colors which transform our troubled world into a fairytale lands and a kingdom of nostalgic beauty and enchanting serenity. He is the prophet and grand master of colors. He is the confident raconteur and lyrical storyteller of the mystical and sacred mysteries and stories of colors and how they gather through Matar's stokes, passages of cherished moments in our lives, memories of the good old times of Lebanon, the peaceful tranquility of its small villages, the stories of the neighbors and the dreams of a generation embarking on a long journey toward a future built upon rich traditions from the past and new aspirations of a multicultural society.

We sense all these humanistic and very touching feelings, and we relive those lyrical and peaceful moments and passages of time through the mesmerizing colors, forms and strokes of the genius of Joseph Matar. This sublime artist and poet wrote: "For more than fifty years one idea has tormented me, has haunted my dreams and has set me aflame. Like the ceaseless waves of the seas and the oceans eating into the shore, it has sculpted in my soul deep convictions leading to a creation of another order – the creation, or rather re-creation, of the whole history of humanity under all its aspects, social, religious, artistic, historical, technical, poetic, and humanist and all else.

The Supreme Creator and any creator, both perform the same great act, that of creation. It has also been my desire to lay stress on the feminine role, that of the woman who is goddess, poet, fairy and charmer, the woman who is motherhood, grace, love, selfless generosity and all goodness, the woman who is mystery, beauty, heroine, courage..., virtue, wisdom and inspiration. Finally the conception saw the light of day in the year 2003. Research, hundreds of outlines, sketches, drawings, geometrical tracings and forms, lines, constructions and compositions! When one embarks on such a task there is no more time for sleep! Every three canvases form one composition, a unity.

The first canvas opens with an incomparable feminine presence, the Holy Virgin. During these last days of February, 2004, I have just finished some fifty square metres, but the work before me is very hard and will take up much time. It supposes a firm resolve, much love, much will-power, and of course a fund of artistic ability." And this is exactly what you see and sense in the admirable work of Joseph Matar. You witness the divinity of art in every whisper he sends free over his canvases. Matar is one of the greatest living artists of our time.
End of the article.

By David Nye May, 2004.