Category archives: Art

The Big Shot | Nadine Labki

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Inside Nadine Labaki’s humble abode, expect to be dealt a couple of surprises. The first is around 85 centimeters tall, cloaked in a buffed up Spiderman suit. This is her favorite project to date, one that took nine arduous months to deliver. Say hello to three-year-old Walid. He will show you his stellar dance moves and musical proficiency, performing to pe[...]

Mona Al Qahtani

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There are a handful of adjectives that can be thought of when thinking of the city of Jubail in Saudi Arabia, and creative is not one of them. This might all change with our latest and newest obsession. Young and highly talented illustrator and experimental artist Mona AlQahtani has got us hooked with her witty and beautifully executed illustrations that [...]

Creativity and Iconophobia

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I decided to write this article to explore the relationship between ‘creativity’ and artistic expression and iconoclasm. There is a bit of a story behind linking these ideas together and examining them against each other. I was once invited to be interviewed as an Islamic art historian by British MP Boris Johnson who was visiting Damascus a couple of years a[...]

The Man Behind The Mask : Qaswara Hafez

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The Saudi art scene is abuzz with contemporary artists, many of whom have chosen to step beyond the mere boundaries of esthetics with a solid, strong statement. Naturally, those going completely against the current are few and far between. Jeddah’s own Qaswra Hafez fits under the latter category. Bold, thought provoking, and multilayered -- these adjectives [...]

At Home with Banksy

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Much to the dismay of the Daily Mail, who seems to have cracked the mystery of the identity of Banksy, to most of us he remains an ever elusive and much revered street artist. With a keen sense of humor and sharp wit, Banksy’s art covers subjects such as politics, culture and ethics. And although the locations of his artworks and his distinct style can be sp[...]

Out of Line with Jowhara AlSaud

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Growing up in Saudi Arabia in the ‘80s meant the era of the black marker, a time when the censorship of images took on a life of its own. Artist and photographer Jowhara AlSaud examines the notion of censorship and its effect on visual communication in her latest series “Out of Line”. Explaining her inspiration, AlSaud says, “While there is a lack of consis[...]

Girls Just Want to Have Fun | Safaa Al Set

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If curiosity and playfulness are the driving forces of exploring space, then Safaa al-Set’s sculptures are a tour de force of creative fun. Safaa is a Syrian born artist who has fallen in love with her chosen media, metal. She manipulates sheets and rods of metal the way a child plays with scissors and cuts of paper. “I can do whatever I want with it,” says [...]

Something Borrowed, Something New

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I must confess my mind wasn’t really into art as I walked passed the booths at the MENASART FAIR in Beirut. Just weeks before Ramadan, I was more focused on planning my last sessions of tanning than the bold social commentary made by Ammar Al Beik’s “Oil Leaks” (2005) collection. In addition, the ceaseless bombardment of the same contemporary Saudi artists [...]

The Jameel Prize

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The Jameel Prize is a £25,000 international art prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of craft and design. Launched in 2009, the winner of the first Jameel Prize was Afruz Amighi for her work 1001 Pages (2008), an intricate hand-cut screen made from the woven plastic used to construct refugee tents. The Jameel Prize is [...]

BASMOCA

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However much of an art lover I proclaim to be, many things tend to stand between myself and my appreciation of art, primarily the long lines, the limited available seating and the urge to reach out and touch the pieces, which as I learned the hard way, is prohibited. Thanks to avid art collector and futurist Basma Alsulaiman’s latest progressive venture – BA[...]