About Sid Chidiac

Sid Chidiac was born in Sydney, Australia and at the age of five his family moved to Lebanon. He grew up near the museum of Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet, who was also an accomplished artist. Gibran’s work inspired Sid throughout his childhood and he carried that with him when he returned to Australia. At the age of twenty-three, Sid started his creative endeavors by experimenting with colored glass. He created fourteen leadlight (similar to stained glass) panels that told mythological stories. The series won Sid the Young Achiever award in 1994 that is given to artists under the age of twenty-four.

In 1995, Sid began studying at The Julian Ashton Art School, which is a unique and historic school established in 1890 that remains one of Australia’s finest schools of art. Sid had the privilege of studying under Nigel Thompson, who twice won the Archibald Prize, Australia’s premiere portraiture award. Sid’s focus in school was oil on canvas and he showed his work in group exhibitions in Sydney beginning in 1995. He held his first solo exhibition in 1999, successfully selling his work without an agent or dealer. After completing his studies at Ashton, Sid took a sabbatical and traveled the world with the purpose of visiting the finest art museums and galleries. Between 1999 and 2002, he visited twenty countries, including the States. He returned to Manhattan in early 2003 with an exhibition at the Australian Consulate in New York entitled Modern Portraits. The show was scheduled to run for two weeks but was extended. Sid began a huge abstract rendition of The Last Supper at a window art installation at Chashama Theatre, an excellent venue in Times Square that offered great exposure to artists. It was a privilege for Sid to be in the center of New York with thousands of people per hour watching him paint such a large piece.

And then there was the chocolate painting

It all started with an idea to paint entirely edible portraits of a diverse group of people in chocolate. His first show of chocolate portraits was entitled Flavor of New York and was exhibited at the Sixth Annual Chocolate Show in Manhattan. The exhibit opened in November 2003 and was a huge hit with thousands of attendees and the media. Sid was profiled on NPR, The Chicago Tribune, and The New York Daily News, among many other media outlets. Sid returned to Australia where his work received extensive media coverage. He donated several paintings to local charities that benefited children in need. He was also able to organize a children’s art auction that raised $10,000 for Sydney Children’s Hospital. Sid has gone on to exhibit his chocolate paintings in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Sydney, and Kuwait. In a little over one year, Sid has been interviewed by more than one-hundred-fifty TV, Internet, newspaper, radio, and magazine media outlets. On April 18, 2005 Sid was interviewed in Paris by Emma Charlton through AFP, head media of the world. This interview received full coverage from around the world through radio, television, and newspapers in several different languages.

Berry Callebaut has donated chocolate to Sid Chidiac since 2003. Berry Callebaut is one of the largest Belgium chocolate manufacturing companies in the world. Invitations to exhibit around the world began in 2003 and since then his prints are shown across the globe. Sid was commissioned by a private sponsor in 2005 to begin painting the history of the Phoenicians to modern day Lebanon. To date, Sid has completed ten paintings in the series. During the 8th International Culinary Art Show in Warth, Austria, Sid was awarded a gold medal for painting with a new medium, which was chocolate. In October 19, 2006, Sid had paintings hung in the chocolate museum in Barcelona. These paintings now belong to the museum for their own collection. Sid had one of his paintings hung in the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon on July 17th 2007. On July 26th, 2008, another painting was hung in the Australian Embassy in Beirut. In 2008, Sid participated at Michael J. Fox’s foundation for Parkinson disease, where he donated his time and a model during the event.

Sid plans to pursue his work in both chocolate and oil. His oil paintings vary greatly in response to what people commission from him. He is proud that his chocolate and oil paintings are hanging across the globe and seeks to remain innovative, but also universal with his art. Most importantly, Sid has a deep passion for charity and wants to organize exhibitions that benefit young cancer patients in the States and around the world.

In 2009, Sid was approached by an Oklahoma American Army base, asking him to donate signed prints and a painting of the American flag for them to auction and raise money in support of injured solders.

In July 2009, Sid was invited to become a member at the United Nations to represent the World Lebanese Culture Union at the United Nations: Lebanon is the first country in the Arab-speaking world to become a Department of Public Information – Non Government Organization (DPI-NGO). Sid’s position is to act as the alternative representative at the UN and also to speak on behalf of Lebanese expatriates around the globe, a community which is about 12 million. At the United Nations in New York, Sid met the Lebanese president Michel Sulayman in September 2009, who, in fact, owns one of his paintings titled: The Face of Lebanon. In May 2010 at the United Nations in New York, Sid met the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, and presented him with his portrait.

Sid’s efforts also go beyond politics and charity. For example, it took Sid four years to have Khalil Gibran’s nationality correctly reflected as Lebanese at the Metropolitan Museum in New York where he had been listed as Syrian. There are 8 works of Khalil Gibran at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. By engaging in charity and diplomacy, Sid extends the reach of his art and the boundaries of what is expected of an artist. He is grateful for the opportunities he has had to express himself in his artistic career, but also in these other channels as well. Sid encourages those who find beauty and interest in his works to challenge themselves to do more for the world and, ultimately, for themselves.