Faces of Love and Love Lost: Painting Exhibition by Henry Matthews
|Henry Matthews, left, and President John
Waterbury at the exhibit opening
Henry Matthews, a painter and writer, as well as the deputy editor of
AUBulletin Today, discovered the magic of the visual arts when he was
small child enchanted by the picture of Aladdin riding a winged horse
on the cover of an Arabic comic book his mother gave him. In his paintings
he tries to evoke the same sense of wonder which moved him in his childhood.
In early April an AUB Arts Club exhibition showcased for four days in
West Hall twenty-eight paintings Matthews has produced sporadically over
a period of four years.
The paintings, Matthews explained, were largely inspired by women in real
life, or mythological figures from antiquity such as the majestic and
sensual Lilith, the protagonist in Lebanese poet Joumana Haddad's volume,
The Return of Lilith, featured in a campus reading in May of last year.
Several of Matthews' paintings on display, The First Death of Lilith,
Lilith Rises, Lilith's Daughter, and Lilith, evoke this mythological female
rebel precursor of Eve.
Matthews says his work does not put forward social, political, or cultural
messages but rather attempts to depict the disarmingly intense emotions
of women, an endless source of inspiration for his paintings and writings.
He has always tried to express in his work both the "inner and external
essences" that shape the experiences of a woman. A woman in love,"
he said, "radiates spring," but deprived of love, becomes "a
lonely lioness in winter." Hence, in Faces of Love and Love Lost,
his first individual exhibition, Henry Matthews tried to capture on canvas
these two extremes and the many moods trapped in between.