Joumana De Aristegui y Aouad, Lebanese-Spanish painter launches her ‘Expressions. Liberté” exhibition at Tinta Negra Gallery, Beirut on May 10th 2018. Joumana’s paints using acrylic and pastel material and draws her inspiration from a life of travel and extraordinary circumstances.
Joumana is the daughter of the Lebanese writer and diplomat Toufic Youssef Aouad. During her childhood and adolescent life, she accompanied her father while he was representing Lebanon as the top diplomat in prestigious destinations: The Embassy in Teheran during the regime of the Shah, opening the Lebanese Embassy in Madrid, Rome, and also Tokyo where Joumana had the chance to dine with the then Japanese emperor HiroHito.
After graduating from her French baccalaureate in Tokyo she moved to Paris to start her art studies at L’academie des Beaux Arts.
It was not until the late 70s that Joumana returned to Lebanon in the midst of the civil war where she worked as a journalist covering cultural events for the show TELE MAGAZINE.
It was during those times that she met Pedro de Aristegui, then Ambassador of Spain to Lebanon. The two were married in 1986 and had two children.
April 16th of 1989 marked a turning point in Joumana’s life, when a Syrian mortar attack took the life of her husband, her father Toufic Youssed Awad and her sister Samia Toutounji. Joumana survived but not without fighting her way back from a one-month comatose state.
Art has since then become a tool that allowed Joumana to express through her paintings the emotions of a lifetime of extraordinary circumstances.