Abir Kobeissi (b. 1988) is a Lebanese artist.
Now based in Munich Germany, attending the Academy of Fine Arts since 2017, she’s a member of the class of Jorinde Voigt and Pola Sieverding with 24 International artist-Colleagues from China, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Iran, Colombia, Italy , Spain , Portugal and Germany.
Born in Beirut, she grew up between Lebanon’s capital and Zibdin, a village in South Lebanon. She studied Interior Architecture at the Lebanese University, Institute of Fine Arts, graduating in 2011.
After graduation she worked in interior architecture corporations and as part of the Middle East Airlines flight attendant team, an experience that had a tremendous impact on her view of the planet as a fragmented whole. Upon leaving the MEA fleet, she dedicated herself to visual art, exploring the city of Beirut and its relationship with its inhabitants.
Kobeissi’s work considers the relation between space, time and survival, their effects on her as an individual who makes part of a collective, through considerations of her environment , heritage, mobility, immobility and instincts.
Manifesting the many-faceted and rapidly changing city, Kobeissi’s expressive artworks comment on nostalgia and alienation in Lebanon’s capital, documenting how she considers herself simultaneously a native and a stranger to the city. Her oeuvre is colored by the Civil War experiences of her parent’s generation, her own wartime experiences in South Lebanon in April 1996 and Beirut in july 2006.
She started intensifying her artistic practice by adopting the concept of the “Container” since 2013, manifested as water tanks, gas cylinders and other symbols of urban life and survival in Lebanon. She then moved to Munich where she is now living and studying, Beirut is still on her mind, the instincts are still the same , only the daily life has become different, and art has definitely now more space and time in her life than ever before, she loves what she is doing and believes in everything she is doing.
The artist experiments in endless various medias and techniques with this connecting underlying theme. Seeing the city itself as a Container – a pulsating entity of its own containing millions of stories within its walls – she conceptualizes symbols of urbanism and removal from nature, and within it, paradoxically, the humanity of the metropolis.
©Abir Kobeissi / text: Inger Hannisdal