Nassim Hassan al Amin found out that I show artists and came to me one day on his way out of the courtyard on his bike, because he lives in the building in back of mine. He explained that he is part Ethiopian and part Yemeni, and has been in Paris for three years now. This is the best part of what I do: finding exciting new artists - sometimes from my own backyard!
"Brut Strength" was the title of the show (until February 17th) playing on the French name for outsider art, "art brut," and the vibrancy that is in his painting that borders on brutality. He himself is the sweetest and gentlest of souls. He started painting out of sheer joy and says today that when he paints he feels free. Painting, he says, is his duty.
He told me he only had six canvasses ready, so I said "Then you are going to do a mural!" His playful figures now dress my wall. Images from the top: Nassim painting on the wall; one of the little figures he painted (which incorporates the chipped surface of my wall!); "United or Not"; "Democracy (America)" (acrylic, 73 x 100 cm).
Samantha Halfon and Derrick Faw's video of the vernissage: