Houssein Jarouche (Brazilian,1973) currently works and resides in São Paulo, Brazil. Jarouche, whose work embodies the vibrant multiculturalism of Brazilian life and art is himself a product of blended cultures and social environments. At the age of fourteen Jarouche went to Lebanon for five years to study Arabic and Islam; a life-experience which greatly influences his current work as well as his perspective on historical conflicts with and within the Middle East.
Although the Pop Art movement was born in the United States more than half a century ago, it continues to flourish and resonate with many contemporary Brazilian artists, including Jarouche. Jarouche, who has owned and operated one of São Paulo’s most prominent furniture stores, MiCasa, began experimenting with his own artistic production by applying adhesive and cloth tapes, generally used for repairs, to canvas. Jarouche noted the adaptability of the cloth tape across all surfaces—whether that be to worn clothes, holes in walls, broken furniture or cracked floors—which ultimately became a metaphor for the binding of cultural influences within his work as well as a tool used to enhance perspective in his geometric, Pop compositions.
Jarouche views his practice as a way of synthesizing his own biography, where signals of the modern Western world are combined with language and symbols of the Middle East. Jarouche’s work distinguishes itself from other amalgamations of abstraction and Pop through his principle medium of brightly colored adhesive tapes, with which he constructs both abstract-geometric patterns and manipulates familiar imagery. In his most recent work Jarouche considers the relationship between visual vocabulary and language by forcing his viewer to examine the semiotics of universal signs and how they apply to universal issues. The most prominent way in which Jarouche executes this connection is through the repeated use of hexagonal figures, which is immediately associated with traffic signs and commands. However, the hexagon also implies a significant tie to Jarouche’s relationship physically and spiritually to Islam, where the shape is used infinitely within single compositions to create decorative patterns that are connected to both the Muslim religion and its art.
In addition to his solo practice, Jarouche also operates Estudio 20.87, with fellow Brazilian Artist, Abidiel Vicente, where the pair collaborate on a number of commercial interior, graphic design and fine art projects.