From September 14-18th, 2011 Venezuelan-Lebanese artist, Ben Abounassif will participate at the inaugural American Pavilion- Shanghai Art Fair exhibiting his latest digital acrylic on acrylic pieces entitled “Shadows” at WUM’s booth.
Abounassif intends to attract the viewer to the shadows created by geometric shapes which reflect on the white acrylic surface when exposed to any ray of light producing an arch of colors.
The 12″ x 12″ pieces will be exhibited at the American Pavilion with Aldo Castillo Projects.
Abounassif, 46, is a seasoned entrepreneur who graduated from Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville with a BS in Business Administration in 1987. He was born in Caracas, Venezuela and lived most of his childhood in Lebanon.
During his first year at college he made his first paintings during the summer of 1984.
“I did 5 small-format oil on canvas and I remember the feeling of joy I had when I was making them,” recalled Abounassif.
As a young adult Abounassif spent all of his time as an entrepreneur owning from travel agencies, to retail stores, to restaurants in Venezuela.
In 1997, his ice cream Canadian franchise “Yogen Fruz” located in Margarita Island, Venezuela allowed Abounassif to seek a L-1 Visa to legally work in the United States for a new restaurant he took over in Miami Lakes.
After the mild recession that followed the 9/11 attacks, Abounassif sold the restaurant and partnered with Miami-based Cuban artist, Sinuhe Vega Leiter and journalist Jesus Rojas Torres to form Leiter Gallery in 2006.
“While at the gallery, I felt the urge to create my own pieces; I became instantly inspired by looking at the artwork we exhibited and by having an interaction with other artists as well,” said Abounassif.
In 2009, during Art Basel Week, Abounassif had his first solo show at ICON South Beach where he exhibited different forms of interpretation of acrylics including resin.
Currently based in Caracas, Venezuela, Abounassif is working and developing the acrylic on acrylic pieces, a continuation of his previous work based on the same synthetic resins made from polymers but adding his mixed-media touch.