Karim Bou Gebrael was born in Byblos, Lebanon, on the sunny shores of the East Mediterranean, in the heart of the historical region of Mount-Lebanon. In one of those very ancient cities, which gave the world its very first phonetical alphabet, lost between the ocean and a blue sky, at a crossroad between the ports of the Levant, Africa and Europe…
A self-taught artist, Karim was influenced by the genius of Leonardo Da Vinci from a very young age. By the age of nine years old, Karim had decided what he would do with his life: he will be an artist… Or he won’t be.
Harvest of Human
In 1995 his work was unanimously acclaimed by the jury of the “Harvest Exhibition” in Beirut, obtaining ‘la distinction du jury’, in this very Francophile capital of Lebanon.
Harvest of Human, a painting of his dear mother, was received by critics with widely positive reviews in 2010, after Karim’s mom, a devout Christian who painstakingly brought up three children in a modest household, tragically died hit by a lorry, in their hometown, before the driver ran away from the face of the earth.
Harvest of Human had been initiated some 15 years prior to this tragic death, which left its mark on Karim’s life and oeuvre.
In 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2008, his paintings were sold at the “Piazza del Bambino Exhibition”. The vivid enthusiasm they were met with made them sell quickly. Despite the turmoil in his native country, Lebanon, which constitutes a hindrance for artists. This success cemented Karim’s childhood’s beliefs: he came to this world with a mission, to paint, and to carry on painting, till death does him part from his brushes.
In 2011, he went on to win another most-sought after distinction by local painters at the prestigious “Salon d’Automne”, where Beirut’s socialites and collectors gather to discuss young and upcoming artists.
His reputation as a very talented yet grounded and hard-working person lead wealthy individuals as well as religious congregations to rely on him for the execution of murals inside villas, mansions, churches and monasteries.. To his greatest joy, since those jobs gave him a taste of the life lead by those Italian masters from Renaissance Italy he venerates.
His paintings are today hung in homes owned by political and opinion leaders in Beirut, London, Paris, Doha, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dubai, Abu-Dhabi, to mention some.
But the Dream goes on,
“If I were really satisfied with my paintings, I wouldn’t carry on painting”, admits Karim to his friends, in his unquenchable thirst to accomplish more and carry on being a true servant of beauty.