EMERGING ARTISTS MIDDLE EAST
Saatchi Online magazine showcases five up and coming artists from the Middle East.
Lebanese collage artist Nadine Kanso has her second solo show in B21 comprising 20 mostly monochromatic works. She explains “I work a lot on socio-political messages, such as combining fashion and a photo of less fortunate people and someone like G.W Bush”. “Collage is a special form of art, especially if it is done in a funky way, where it is loud and bold,” says Kanso.
The twenty-seven year old Iraqi artist, who shows a series of drawings at Dubai’s The Third Line gallery, gathers inspiration from traditional Japanese prints, art nouveau, Persian miniature painting and fashion imagery. Describing her references, she says, “One of my major inspirations is avant-garde fashion photography. And I try to be ‘current’ with the designs etc. My pieces may have an ancient or historical background, but I like to have them be related to today, with the usage and implementations from contemporary art and design.”
Tehran-born and New York-based, this artist produces mixed media works in which visual references from her homeland are combined with influences from Western art history, opera, pop culture, Disney and her personal experiences. Khorramian says, “I don’t think of myself as fitting in with the Middle Eastern art scene.” Khorramian explains by email from her Brooklyn studio, “My work is not overtly about political topics, regional issues or my issues with being Middle Eastern. I think my work is about broader events and the universal forces of love, death and creation. ”
Egyptian-born and New York-based photographer Youssef Nabil’s makes hand-painted images with old film-star glamour. Nabil, who has shot Tracey Emin, Nan Goldin, David Lynch, Louise Bourgeois and Kate Moss, often bathes his subjects in buttery gold light and thereby declares his work as a product of the region.
The thirty-nine year old Jordanian-born and Dubai-based artist has had paintings collected by Queen Rania and Queen Nour, along with members of the Italian Parliament and significant museum curators. Hiary maintains that the roots of her abstract art are firmly in the region where she is represented by Dubai’s XVA Gallery “I believe abstract art did not originate from the West, ” she asserts. “Even at the beginning of Islamic art, you can see that abstraction was a clear component. But what is really interesting in Middle Eastern art right now, is that we have many different schools and trends, all gaining attention at once.”
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