Much about Ahmed Mater’s world seems to reconcile opposing states of being. Somehow, the artist finds space for religion and science, anatomy and spirituality, technology and tradition, violence and morality, swarming multitudes and empty plots of land.
Palestinians on the moon. A nation contained in a high-rise. Visual artist Larissa Sansour uses (science) fiction to comment upon the global travesty that is the world’s longest ongoing conflict.
Echo is a new non-profit organisation created to be an all-purpose infrastructure for contemporary Iraqi art. This notable initiative has an ambitious, much needed mission as Bespoke ascertains from its founder, Rijin Sahakian.
Exhibiting a 7 million USD masterpiece in a war zone may have seemed like an impossible feat but ultimately, Picasso’s ‘Buste de Femme’ artwork did make it all the way to Ramallah this summer. Bespoke exposes this extraordinary story.
This year, the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious international art events in the world, featured an outstanding representation of the Arab world in five national pavilions as well as a special Pan-Arab exhibition as a collateral event.
Zakaria Ramhani’s vibrant and mesmerising paintings cleverly turn simple but colourful modern calligraphy into the creation of isolated and expressive human figures. But with one of his pieces fetching 30,000 USD at Christie’s April, 2010 auction in Dubai, he is now commanding prices that put him in the top ten global artists under 30.
Khaled Takreti’s vibrant works offer a visual insight into the cherished memories of his past. Here, Bespoke talks to the Syrian artist about his inspiration and style.
Born in 1972, Syrian-born artist Sabhan Adam’s art is introspective and breaks from the norm of most Middle Eastern portraiture. Challenging superficial notions of beauty and ugliness by conveying the unsightly but adorning his subjects in finery, his work is instantly recognisable.
Pegged as one of the modern art world’s rising stars, Marwan Sahmarani is haunted by his heritage. His paintings reveal a perception of the region that is both powerful and provocative.
Once a source of mystical fascination to European and American artists, the Middle East is currently portrayed in a very different light. But as author and expert Kristian Davies argues, some Orientalist painters, aside from creating exceptional work, continue to bridge the gap of understanding between two different worlds.