EMBRACES


In this series, for which Sabouki won an Arte Laguna Prize in 2017, he deconstructs the very definition of portraiture by doing away with faces entirely. This also represents the culmination of his career-long interest in exploring the expressive power of human hands. The subjects are entirely shrouded except for their arms and hands. And yet, quite unexpectedly, the viewers find themselves making instantaneous emotional connections with these mysteriously veiled figures.

The absence of what we hold as paramount in human communication, the face, allows us to sink even more deeply into the intricacies of the only exposed part of the subject’s, the arms and the hands. Instead of being drawn to wrinkles on the forehead or dimples on the subject’s cheeks, one can only gauge the subject by the contrast of their arms and hands set against the veil that masks what we are used to looking at.