Youssef Nabil's self portraits are executed in muted tones of paint complimenting a nuanced approach to light and shadow. Each tightly cropped and guarded composition contains palpable pangs of longing and displacement and a heavy sense of yearning. Undercurrents of dreaming and death are prominent: Self Portrait, Vincennes, 2003 shows a lifeless body stretched out under the green foliage of the Parisian woods, as if sleeping, or lying devoid of life.
Beautiful, conflicting and at times unsettling, Nabil's self-portraits offer an in-depth narrative with the intertwining of the eternal with quasi interchangeable states of death and slumber. While his
previous work has been heavily influenced by the photo-novellas which once accompanied the classic cinema, his self-portraits seem to more wholly embrace the genre.