Saadallah Louis Lebbos was raised by educated parents who encouraged and developed his love for knowledge and the arts. After graduation from high school, he traveled to Africa to work as a foreman on the construction of the U.S. Embassy at Abidjan in Ivory Coast. He then returned to Lebanon to study architectural drawing. The following years in Lebanon saw Lebbos taking over control of his fathers tile factory in the southern region. He added a marble and stone factory to the works. After moving to Amchit in 1977, he started up another tile and marble factory. It was there that Lebbos began to become interested in creating sculpture.
"One day in "82, I was at my tile factory," he remembers, "and I took a chisel and a hammer and a gun and I realized I have to know about the tools. I went to a friend who was a primitive sculptor." Since then Lebbos has been expressing himself through sculpture.
"In 1983, I heard on the TV someone calling for artists in order to give pieces for a competition". I went and presented my pieces. Half of them were sold for the benefit of refugees. I was the only [Arab] who was accepted to the competition." Because he was not a regular on the art scene -- an academic who had studied his discipline for years -- Lebbos says the local critics were astonished by the quality and depth of his sculpture.
After this early and positive exposure, Lebbos then met one of the greatest sculptors in Lebanon: Zaven Hadichian. The sculptor took Lebbos under his wing. "He instructed me the right way," he says. "So I worked with him for about two years, once a week. At the same time I bought a lot of books" I have the largest library concerning sculpture from English, French and Arabic sculptors."
Lebbos" work is carved mostly out of stone and marble. His pieces are often organic forms that recall geometric shapes that comment on the cyclical nature of life and death or the hard, edged brutality of the modern world. They are shapes not often seen in the Arabic world: "I am bored of seeing the same sculptures" all of the people make the same kind, approximately."
For the future, Lebbos is excited about exhibition opportunities in and around the Triangle, and in bigger cities like New York and Boston. "Im working on a piece called Needless Needles" put some needles, big needles, in concrete" something different and new." He would also like to try out different materials like glass, porcelain, Plexiglas and steel.
* This is an excerpt from a Spectator article by Adam Bible.