Tribute to Hovsep Madenian (1915 - 2012)
Houda Kassatly, anthropologist, photographer and author is the curator of Tribute to Hovsep Madenian (1915 – 2012), photographs from a private collection exhibition and the author of the research on Madenian’s career. She is also the founder of Al Ayn Edition.
The mission of Al Ayn editions is to work on memory and to publish a series of books on photographers who have lived and worked in Lebanon but whose work remains unknown.
Hovsep Abraham Madenian, Armenian photographer was born in 1915 in the village of Hajin in Turkey and died in 2012 in Beirut. He had several studios in Lebanon: at Debbas square in the capital (near Cinema Dunia), at Sabra (Studio Assouan) and at Bikfaya where he went on holiday every year.
He is the author of beautiful portraits which unfortunately very few have survived war aftermath and the elapse of time. However, a corpus is currently being patiently restored by a meticulous work of introspection both in Beirut and in the village of Bikfaya, from people who have known him and who have used his services.
In his studios, Hovsep Madenian used – as was the custom then – props as people posed for photo shoots. He also proceeded with the coloring of portraits he realized and had them signed Saro, name by which he was known to his customers. His studio downtown Beirut was the meeting place of the renowned Armenian artists. Saro was a music lover and an enthusiast for art and literature.
The thirty photographs are 30 x 40 cm and signed by the hand of the photographer. They come from a single private collection found at the flea market Basta in Beirut in March 2012.