Art and design are ways of reflecting oneself, says PIERRE ABBOUD
Pierre Abboud, an interior designer and artist from Lebanon, does not position himself as an artist or as a designer, but an artistic designer who approaches his projects with the vision of an artist and the skills of a designer.
Abboud’s talent and artistic vision of the world brought him to the design industry, and of his multiple works, the ‘Falcon Nest’ installation near Burj Khalifa, attracted media attention and inspired Hallmark to take a photograph of the sculpture for postcard purposes.
Abboud has worked with the UAE government by placing the ‘Falcon Nest’ sculpture at the Abu Dhabi corniche as part of a campaign to help attract visitors to the newly opened esplanade. The Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi requested his artistic touch in the design of a Ramadan concept, which met with great success.
In an exclusive interview with Middle East Interiors, Abboud spoke about his projects and inspiration.
Abboud: Art expresses life
How did you become involved with art and interiors design?
I was in love with art since I was a child. My passion for drawing and painting was obvious at an early stage of my life. My only wish was to be a sculpture and painter thinking that each space will be sculpted like a rock or painted like a canvas. I started my journey in Beirut. I studied interior design at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (Alba) and graduated in 1998.
My ‘wall graphics’ at home as a child brought me to a wider level of mural and street art passion, and while a student at the academy I received my first big award in a competition sponsored at the time by the InterContinental hotel in Lebanon.
One of the most memorable works during my days at Alba was the opportunity to develop the ‘Museum of War’ in Lebanon as my diploma project.
Today I consider myself as a designer, painter and sculpture. Along with my brother Gabriel Abboud, I run two design companies – Trompe L’Oeil, specialising in events on many scales and Pierre Abboud Design, specialising in interior design and artistic projects. Between Beirut and Dubai we work on different projects for the region.
What inspires you to create and what are your favourite materials?
To create, it is very important to be only inspired by one’s soul and heart. Art in its different forms and scale is the mirror of one’s soul. I mix art with sculpture, I mix painting with light, sculpture with environment, treating my works with passion and love always. I am inspired by my memories, sometimes sweet and other times tough, I am inspired by shadow and light.
I always keep the child in me close, and this helps maintain the passion in everything I do. I never separate my projects from me as a person. Art and design are my ways of expressing myself, you can call it my own language. Nobody can live their life without expressing themselves, and I am no exception.
As for my favourite materials, I like those that are closer to earth in form and origin because of their organic beauty.
What projects are you working on?
I am currently working of many projects that I enjoy. With the holy month of Ramadan approaching I am busy developing Ramadan concepts for many hotels. I am also doing interior decoration for a few offices.
Other projects include concept of sculpture representing the UAE and another one for Fujairah. In my spare time I do painting.
Please tell us about your favourite project?
It is very difficult to single out a favourite as I like all my projects and consider each and every project as unique and exceptional. Each project has its own challenges. The most important part of the creation is the process and not the result. I put my soul in every project and the result always overcomes any expectations. I treat each project as if it were my first and last project, and as a result you will definitely see a piece of art, be it a sculpture, a painting or a design.
My graduation diploma project is closest to my heart. Some of my other interesting projects include the concept for the first F1 Café (interior and exterior design); sculpture on the Abu Dhabi corniche representing the UAE’s 38th year anniversary; 30 days of festivities and music for Abu Dhabi Municipality; 20-km-long artistic hoarding in the dessert for Al Bawadi Dubai; and a number of mural paintings for houses and public area.
Flight of fancy: The Falcon Nest at
Abu Dhabi corniche
What are the current trends in design?
The design of today is minimalistic, organic and natural. The interiors today looks more like a garden.
What are your future plans?
As a businessman, I plan to concentrate more on office and interior designs as I enjoy building an extraordinary atmosphere for everyday working routines. Nevertheless, my business prospects will not lead me astray from art.
One of my biggest fields of explorations at the moment is ‘trash art’. I strongly believe in vast necessity of developing this genre as a contribution to environmental protection and awareness. It is noble message that helps one understand that everything is beautiful, magnificent and can be transformed. We need to change the way we look at things.
I will keep on creating!