‘Instagram’s Lebanese Protagonist’

This week posts by a practicing lawyer are taking Instagram by storm. Serge Najjar, a Lebanese photographer with a PhD in finance law, takes photographs on Instagram to look as though they are incredible works of art, when in fact they are nothing but quotidian life in Lebanon. Najjar discovered photography only four years ago when his mother enrolled himself and his brother in an art class her friend was teaching. The class needed another two students for it to go ahead and so she offered. “It’s very typical of the Lebanese mother, very present in her children’s lives. I was 37!” Najjar said but admitted he felt he had an inherent ability to “sense when an art piece is good.” Straight away he became obsessed with architecture and said he wanted his photographs to draw on constructivism, Parisienne avant-garde and MC Escher.

When the Lebanese photographer started posting on Instagram, the pictures caught the attention of one of the curators of Instagram who has used it online ever since. On a typical day he rises at 5am and drives to nondescript places to take pictures. He admitted he has to convince security guards he is not a spy as tensions rise in the Middle East.

Najjar wants the aim of his photographs to show that art is not about what you see but how you see it.

He admitted that architecture is not exciting in Lebanon but that he still wants his work to challenge his viewer’s assumptions and make interesting buildings look like art through Instagram. He said he wants to “examine the thin line between ugly and the beautiful; between ordinary and extraordinary, chaos and order and reality and abstraction.” When asked about the use of people in his photography, he said that it added “scale and warmth to the architecture” while hiding the context of the buildings helped emphasise the abstract qualities.

Instagram photographer posts Lebanese Architecture, made interesting by filtering.

Follow Serge Najjar on Instagram here.

Instagram: In April 2015 Serge Najjar posted this popular minimalism building.

Instagram: A man in full flight over floating buildings.

Instagram: The man on the move through floating buildings proved to be one of the popular photographs on Serge Najjar’s Instagram account.

Instagram: The hiding man on Instagram, Najjar shows the effects of shadowing and shading. The contrast in this photography is simply amazing. He allows the light to lead you

By Coco Khan.

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