Beirut has long played muse to artists. Over the centuries, the city’s crumbling facades and resilient population have attracted painters, designers, poets, writers, sculptors and musicians who come to her rocky shores seeking inspiration.
Even those— like me— with limited knowledge of art history will not find it difficult to see why Beirut has become an art hub. It is a city that knows no moderation; Beirut evokes feelings only in the extreme: stress, excitement, frustration, nostalgia. Those sentiments inevitably boil over and manifest in artistic expression that will impress even the most amateur art admirer.
Luckily, much of Beirut’s art is accessible to the public, and some of the city’s best galleries are within walking distance of one another. I took an afternoon to explore the galleries of the eclectic neighborhoods of Mar Mikhael and Gemmayze by foot.