Youssef Nabil (born 6 November 1972) is an Egyptian artist and photographer.
Born in Cairo, Egypt, Nabil started his photography career in 1992, shortly before meeting the American photographer David LaChapelle in Cairo, with whom he worked in New York in 1993. In 1997, Nabil worked in Paris with the Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino till late 1998. In 1999, Youssef Nabil had his first solo exhibition in Cairo. Through the years he remained a close friend with the Egyptian-Armenian studio portrait photographer Van Leo (Leon Boyadjian, 1921–2001), who encouraged Nabil to leave to the West. In 2003, Youssef Nabil was awarded the Seydou Keita Prize in the Biennial of African Photography in Bamako.
In 2001, while visiting Cairo, British artist Tracey Emin discovered Nabil's work and later nominated him as a future top artist in Harper's article Tomorrow People. Nabil left Egypt in 2003 for an artist residency at La Cité internationale des Arts in Paris. In 2006, he moved to live and work in New York.
Many have been subject to Nabil's lens and distinctive technique of hand-colouring gelatin silver prints, including artists Tracey Emin, Gilbert and George, Nan Goldin, Marina Abramović, Louise Bourgeois, and Shirin Neshat; singers Alicia Keys, Sting, and Natacha Atlas; actors Omar Sharif, Faten Hamama, Rossy de Palma, Charlotte Rampling, Isabelle Huppert, and Catherine Deneuve.
In 2010, Nabil wrote, produced and directed his first film You Never Left, an 8-minute short film with actors Fanny Ardant and Tahar Rahim.
Nabil's work has been presented on numerous international solo and group exhibitions, at venues including the British Museum, London; Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle; Centre de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; The Third Line, Dubai; The Townhouse gallery, Cairo; Galerist, Istanbul; Marco Noire gallery, Turin; Nathalie Obadia gallery, Paris; Yossi Milo gallery, New York; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla; Aperture Foundation, New York and Villa Medici, Rome.
Nabil lives and works in New York City.
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