Untitled, © of the artist


Walid El Mays is a visual artist based in tumultuous Beirut. Growing up close to a painter, his mother, painting was an activity that they practiced regularly together and came to be a base for what he now does with photography. While arts have played a big role in his upbringing, he chose to pursue a career in the world of science much the same like his father. He acquired a “BS in agriculture” and second diploma of “Doctor of veterinary medicine”. He morphed into a man of science with high affinity to metaphysics, questioning notions science itself cannot answer, hence a duality in his existence, practice as a veterinarian, and image creation as a visual artist. In March 2018, an intense, personal event triggered his distrust in several institutions all at once. It was then that his search for an alternative and his real purpose of existence began. With a sense of urgency, he bought his first analogue camera and roll of film as tools to emulate the world of painting he grew up fully immersed in, and to paint – with light, emotions, colors, texture, and movement – the personal turmoil that left him hanging by a thread. His earlier negligence at pursuing painting incited his motivation to deliberately fail at representation.