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 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, 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.
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. 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.
Follow Serge Najjar on Instagram here.