Born in Cairo, Nabil Boutros lives and works in Cairo and Paris. He began his studies at the Arts-Décoratifs in Cairo, and then went on to study at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His work is at the intersection of various disciplines: painting, scenography, and installation work but, since 1986, photography has been his favored medium of expression.
Egypt and the Middle East have been at the heart of his work for some time. As an answer to his own questions, in the 1990s he devoted himself to the production of a large series of portraits of Egyptians. At the frontier of documentary work, his photographic series depicts, among other issues, the links between Alexandria and Marseille, the rituals and daily life of the Coptic community, Egyptian Christians, and the period of Ramadan in Cairo.
He also works on more complex themes, such as the hammams in San’aa, Yemen, and modernity in Egypt and the Bedouin communities in Jordan. More recently, he has taken up increasingly global themes, such as advertising in emerging countries, the place of man within mechanized production systems and violence towards animals.
His work has been shown in major cultural institutions, including the Guggenheim Museum, in New York, in 1996, the Arab World Institute in Paris in 1998, 2005, and 2012, the Natural History Museum in Luanda, in 2009, and at the MMK (Museum fur Modern Kunst) of Frankfurt in 2014. He has participated in numerous festivals dedicated to photography and other events including the Rencontres de la Photographie in Bamako, in 2003 and 2007, the Lyon Biennial in 2011, and the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, in 2013.
From The Shadows Light Comes Forth, 2015,
Installation, 120 x 120 cm,