Paris retrospective hosts the magical, melancholic world of Youssef Nabil

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The works of New York-based Egyptian artist Youssef Nabil are a stunning mix of photography and painting. He uses a technique of hand colouring monochrome photographs, learnt from specialists in his native Cairo, to produce haunting portraits ranging from Yemeni fishermen to cinema stars. Often meticulously staged, as if telling a story, his carefully-crafted pictures contain an unusually intense and captivating quality. A retrospective exhibition of his works is now on show for the first time in Paris, at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. Hugo Vitrani reports.

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The works of New York-based Egyptian artist Youssef Nabil are a stunning mix of photography and painting. He uses a technique of hand colouring monochrome photographs, learnt from specialists in his native Cairo, to produce haunting portraits ranging from Yemeni fishermen to cinema stars. Often meticulously staged, as if telling a story, his carefully-crafted pictures contain an unusually intense and captivating quality.