Youssef Nabil draws inspiration from the concept of memory and the cinematic universe he grew up admiring in his native country, Egypt. His works' ethereal aesthetics take from the hand coloring photography technique of the technicolor films. The artist hand paints each of his black and white photographs, as editions become variations, each a unique version of the artist's labor.
Youssef Nabil's International solo and group exhibitions include: in the USA, at the Pérez Art Museum (PAMM) in Miami, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Studio Museum in Harlem and Aperture Foundation in New York, the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah and in Atlanta, and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh; in Canada, at the Aga Khan Museum of Art in Toronto ; in France, at the Centre Pompidou, Maison Rouge - Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Institut du Monde Arabe and Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the Frac Normandie in Sotteville- lès-Rouen, the Friche Belle de Mai in Marseille, the Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles, ; in Belgium, at the Fondation Boghossian and Maison Particulière in Brussels ; in the UK, at the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle ; in Germany, at the Museum für Modern Kunst (MMK) in Frankfurt, the Kunstmuseum in Bonn, and the Gemäldegalerie Staatliche Museen in Berlin ; in Spain, at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA) in Barcelona, the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, and the Instituto d'Art Modern in Valencia ( IVAM ) ; in Italy, at the Villa Medici in Rome, the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, The Palazzo Grassi in Venice and the 53rd Venice Biennale, Unconditional Love ; in Qatar, at the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha; in Mexico, at the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City ; and in Mali, at the 5èmes Rencontres de la Photographie africaine in Bamako, during which he was awarded the Seydou Keïta Prize. In 2020/2021, Youssef Nabil had his first retrospective exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice, titled Once Upon A Dream.
Youssef Nabil's work is part of various international collections, among which: in the USA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Pérez Art Museum in Miami (PAMM), the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art (SCAD) in Savannah ; in France, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, the Collection François Pinault, and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris ; in Switzerland, the Collection UBS Art in Zürich ; in the UK, the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London ; in Angola, the Sindika Dokolo Foundation in Luanda ; in Greece, the Photography Museum in Thessaloniki ; in Qatar, the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha ; in the United Arab Emirates, the Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi ; in Mexico, the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City.
Four monographs have been published on Youssef Nabil's work - Sleep in My Arms (Autograph ABP and Michael Stevenson, 2007), I Won't Let You Die (Hatje Cantz, 2008), Youssef Nabil (Flammarion, 2013) and Once Upon A Dream (Marsilio, 2020).
Youssef Nabil has been represented by la Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels, since 2011.