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Emmanuel Guiragossian


Born in 1954, Lebanese-German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, publisher and musician of Armenian descent.
The eldest son of renowned artist Paul Guiragossian, Emmanuel belongs to the 6th generation of artists in his family of musicians, iconographists and painters.
As a child Emmanuel’s paternal grandmother Rahel didn’t tell him stories like „The Little Red Riding Hood“ or children’s fairytale stories. Instead, this woman who had lived through the Armenian Genocide, several civil wars and two World Wars, told him about her own experience. This affected Emmanuel’s perception of life and as a consequence his work was early on overtly dramatic.
At the young age of 12, during the absence of his father who was on an exhibition trip abroad, young Emmanuel painted his self-portrait in oil on canvas and substituted it to his father’s in the family room. Upon his return Paul realized that his son had become the man of the house in his absence and said: “My son has become an artist”.
From then on, Emmanuel spent his time in his father’s studio and became a serious apprentice of one of the pioneers of contemporary art in the Middle East.
At 15, Emmanuel worked with the famous photographer Souren in his studio and later on started working as a creative designer and concept artist in an advertising company and won several prizes, among them the Poster Prize of Bank of Canada.
His talents didn’t go unnoticed and earned him an admission to the Académie des Beaux-Arts de Paris in 1972 followed by more advanced courses at the Michelangelo Academy in Florence in 1973.
In 1974, Emmanuel obtained a scholarship and attended the Hochshüle fur Bildende Kunst in Dresden-Germany under professors Gerhard Kettner, Siegfried Klotz and Juan Leon.There, he built close friendships with several renowned contemporary artists such as A.R.Penk and worked with them.
Emmanuel specialized in Artistic Anatomy and graduated with honours in 1979. By the fall of that year, he returned to Lebanon where he became a professor at the Academie Libanaise de Beaux Arts (ALBA) and the American University of Beirut until 1984.
At the same time, Emmanuel began working closely with his father, taking on the task of organizing the art shows, archiving the works and, most importantly, he founded his publishing house EMMAGOSS which published the first book ever made on Paul Guiragossian’s works in 1983.
From then on Emmanuel actively worked on several solo exhibitions around the world while residing between Beirut, Germany, Canada and Jordan and published several books including the biography of Palestinian-Jordanian banker and founder of the Arab Bank Khaled Shoman as well as a book on the art of his wife Soha Shoman.
Later on he also published books on other artists such as Iranian-American artist Marcus Grigorian and poet Peggy Abi-Jaber among others.
He also took on consulting with several major foundations in their projects such as the “Darat Al Funoon” museum in Amman, Jordan and became the artistic consultant to the project of rebuilding Down Town Beirut with Solidere.
In 1991, Emmanuel founded the Emmagoss Art gallery in Beirut which quickly became one of the most prestigious art galleries in the Middle East by holding some of the biggest artists’ exhibitions from around the world and even collaborating with international museums such as the Spanish Museum of Marbella which brought the exhibition “De Picasso à nos Jours” to Emmagoss in 1995.
Emmanuel’s target eventually was to begin founding the first contemporary art museum in Lebanon, which also was a dream of this father Paul. And in 2004 The Paul Guiragossian Contemporary Art Museum was built in the suburbs of Beirut.
Currently Emmanuel is based in Lebanon and Germany and has founded a second art gallery Emmagoss in Dresden in 2007 where he exhibits works of contemporary German artists such as A.R. Penk, Marcus Lüpertz and others including his own.

 

 
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