Born in 1941 in Jerusalem , Sari Khoury left the city with his family during the war of 1948 , settling in Birzeit. Even as a school boy Khoury had as special talent for drawing caricatures of his teachers . At 12 he developed an interest in caricature drawing and in studying different facial and body expressions, a talent he later applied in articulating the Palestinian tragedy, the plight of the refugees and the hardship of prisoners during their incarceration.
His mastery in rendering facial expressions appears in two of his self portraits. The first he painted in the sixties of last century following the impressionistic style of painting. This portrait with wide staring eyes is reminiscent of other self portraits by artists of the same period , in particular one which was painted by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra.
There is a difference between the two Khoury portraits: in the first which he painted in oils, the face is placed frontally within a defined frame, thusleaving a space between the head contour and the frame, just as in classical portraiture . The personality and features of the artist may be suggestive of a holy person, as in Coptic iconography. In the other portrait which he made in the nineties, he uses mixed media to give texture anda different visual expression than in the first portrait. The materials and the placement of the head in half profile are more in accord with contemporary trends of painting. The subject appears more expressive, specially made so by the disappearance of the space around the head, giving definition and prominence to the face rather than the person it represents.