Boutros Romhein, Italian-Syrian sculptor
Born in Kraya, Syria in 1949
Lives and works in Carrara, Italy
In the early 1980s, sculptor Boutros Romhein still was working in Damascus, creating wooden and stone sculptures. He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Syria and abroad. By 1975, he began to travel to Europe, where he had the opportunity to exhibit his work. In 1983, he moved to Carrara, Italy, where he opened the ARCO ARTE studio in 1991. This is where he lives and organizes sculpture courses, and has established a workshop and a permanent exhibition space.
Art is a framework of life where the artist adds various components, emotions and thoughts. In a block of marble, Boutros Romhein carves his creativity by making living sculptures, carriers of messages and suggestions.
To understand Boutros Romhein’s body of work and what he wants to suggest, keep in mind that everything can be questioned because his work does not reveal a single side of life, but many sides of civilization. Everyone can find his own answer. When we come face to face with one of his sculptures, then we are face to face with the artist. This is why, when asked about the title of a sculpture, he invariably replies that it is a self-portrait.
This response demonstrates his humility. Through his work, Boutros do not want to teach, but simply to suggest. He reveals his inner self. He expresses all this through the material and the shape. Therefore, in his sculptures, one can discover the stages of his past and present life.
Most of his work is carved in white Carrara marble. There is a movement, an emotion, a force in full spring, which always surprise and move us. Another favorite material he uses is glass that he combines with marble. Glass is transparent, it creates an opening, an invitation to enter the environment, a suggestion to interact with the space and the matter. This work of interaction between glass and marble in Boutros’ recent sculptures reveal us a creation of sculptures directly carved in the heart of the raw material. These steps are essential to him. They are means of dialogue and exchange of thoughts. The magic communication that radiates from his sculptures is the direct result of this fertile ground.
Boutros is a wise and open-minded man. He not only creates his art, but also his life. He is receptive to everything that happens in the world, sensitive to human events, especially for those involving children. Every human being has the right to protection, and Boutros takes this concern very seriously. He wants to spread a message of charity and protection through his work. In marble, he carved angels, “his angels.” Contemplating them, we notice that a vibrating force emanates in their chest in the image of a cherub, holding an arrow of love, not offense. Their wings are wide open. They mean the certainty of real protection. And as a final message, it is a call for peace, a peace not yet realized, but much hoped, sought for, and expected.