Born in Lebanon, Manuella was brought up in an artist family and early on developed a passion for storytelling, cartoons and animation. In 1989, she held her very first solo exhibition of 13 cartoon characters named “Les Archifous” in Paris. In 2002, she graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Film and Video, specialized in Character Animation.
For over two decades Manuella has been participating in numerous group exhibitions, art fairs and solo shows in Beirut, Paris, Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Amsterdam and Singapore.
Her current work is based on her childhood drawings created in her father, Paul Guiragossian’s studio, during the Lebanese civil war. As Manuella started drawing way before she could write her own name, her father Paul had signed and dated all her earliest drawings, and preserved them in his studio.
After her father passed away in 1993, Manuella took on the great task of archiving his works, and during that process she discovered her childhood drawings, archived by her father. This finding gave her the confidence she needed to pursue this idea of going back to her naïve art and unlike other artists who express their protest against war by creating scenes symbolizing violence, Manuella chose to show resistance by creating works with childlike simplicity that express joy and positivity. She says, “A child’s imagination and unconscious is so strong and honest that there is no need to use symbolism to convey an idea. It’s pure and simple and naturally beautiful. This is why I constantly try to tap back into my childhood self, to create that world which is the only place where I could find refuge from the ugly realities we are surrounded by on a daily basis. I try to find Peace there and then share it with the world.”
2014 - Singapore Art Fair. Represented by Emmagoss art gallery, Singapore.
- Artist residency at the Centre D'Art Contemporain Essaouira, Ifitry Residence D'Artistes, Morocco. - Group exhibition of Middle Eastern artists. Organized by Rijks Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Foam Institute of photography and the Concertgebouw - Amsterdam, Netherlands.
2013 - Beirut Art Fair represented by Emmagoss art gallery – Biel, Beirut, Lebanon.
- Contemporary Armenian Art 2013 group exhibition – AGBU, Pasadena, California, USA.
- The Guiragossian Family Artists group exhibition entitled “The Family” – Anima Gallery Lounge, Doha, Qatar.
2012 - "Visual Art Forum III" - UNESCO Beirut, Lebanon.
- Beirut Art Fair represented by two galleries: ChinaToday Gallery from Belgium and Emmagoss Art Gallery from Lebanon. Biel, Beirut, Lebanon. - Sursock Museum XXXIst Salon D’Automne – Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, Lebanon.
2009 - "Cityscape 2" solo exhibition – EMMAGOSS art gallery – Beirut, Lebanon.
- “Cityscape” solo exhibition - Bait Muzna Gallery - Muscat, Oman.
2008 - Art Paris in Abu Dhabi – represented by Bait Muzna Gallery from Oman, UAE.
2000 - “Mythes et Legendes” first solo exhibition – Emmagoss art gallery – Beirut, Lebanon.
99-01 - Bella Via Festival - Street Art - Valencia, CA.
1991 - Festival de Bandes Dessinées (Comic Strips Festival) – CCF (French Cultural Center) - Beirut, Lebanon.
1989 - La Defense – Solo exhibition “Les Archifous” – Paris, France.