" Everything can be transformed into art. There is enough unused and abandoned material out there screaming for attention, as well as conventional everyday objects that would love to be pulled out their mundane life for a more exciting existence."'
Ginou Choueiri was born in Beirut, Lebanon. After completing a degree in Marketing at the University of Connecticut, she returned to Beirut to work with Saatchi and Saatchi Advertising. Seven years later, Ginou finally decided to pursue her passion for painting, and traveled to Barcelona to participate in Metafora’s International Art Workshop. She spent the next four years in Barcelona creating art in collective studio spaces housing international and local artists. Unable to stay away from Beirut, she returned in 2008 and is currently working on her first solo show, expected to take place in Nov 09. We fell in love with her Potato Project which led us to find out more about this extremely talented artist.
Interview on Potato Project
How did this idea occur to you? I was preparing for my first group exhibit around the theme “Put Yourself in Someone Else’s Skin” and I wanted to create an installation piece using human portraits. I was searching for the right material… when I noticed the potatoes in my kitchen a spark went off in my head...
Why potatoes? The potato and human faces have many striking parallels; not only is their skin porous like ours, but like us, they also come in different colors, shapes, and forms.
Whose portraits did you use? Everyone I know from family, friends, to people I met on the streets, as well as famous people and politicians. I have made more than a thousand portraits so far.
How do people react to the potato heads? Some find them fun and humorous, others find them disturbing. Personally I find them very cute, especially when they start to sprout and grow hair.
Where has this work been shown? This work has been exhibited in Barcelona Contemporary Cultural Center, the Mario Merz Foundation in Turin Italy, and The Dome, Beirut Lebanon. The potato heads also made their debut on the big screen, appearing in Julio Medem’s latest feature film “’Caotica Ana”’.
Personal Interview Greatest inspirations or influences?
Inspiration comes to me in many ways from things i see in my everyday life, to a good movie, good music, or to browsing art magazines or cool websites.
Favorite cultural hot spot?
right now I would say Beirut Other favorite artists?
- There are many artists that inspire me so it's difficult to remember and name them all... but some that come to mind are Mark Ryden, BLU,Banksy, and Marina Abrahamovic.
What would be a dream project for you?
A collaborative project selecting one artist from every country in the world to sail the world together for one year and document our experience. Favorite websites?
- Wooster Collective, Boooooooom (not sure how many O's go in there),
- Fecal Face, Blanket Magazine, Juxtapoz.
Anything else youd like our audience to know about you?
that I am a hot potato