eL Seed’s New Scripts – Interview by Johnny Hanson for ARAMCO WORLD

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EL SEED SPOKE BY PHONE
FROM HIS DUBAI STUDIO
Let’s start with “calligraffiti.” There are quite a few artists who do it now. Did you coin the term?
No, to be honest with you, this is a term that has been used the first time in New York for a show, I think in ’84. A show created by Jeffrey Deitch for some calligraphy artists and some graffiti artists from New York. He had this vision 30 years ago that calligraphy and graffiti would merge together. To be honest with you, me today, I don’t even use this word to define myself. I’m just using calligraphy in my artwork. I do sculpture, I do canvases, I do art installations. I’m trying to get out of the box that I think I used to be in a few years ago.
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More: http://www.aramcoworld.com/en-US/Articles/July-2017/eL-Seed-s-New-Scripts

Remembering Louay Kayali: Life Is On The Streets.

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the match seller/The Match Seller by Louay Kayali/

Louay Kayali was a Syrian modern artist, a brilliant painter born in Aleppo in 1934. He began painting at the age of eleven and held his first solo exhibition when he was eighteen.

Kayali died in 1978, from burns incurred from his bed catching fire, reportedly from a cigarette (he suffered from depression, leaving many to think it was suicide).

Kayali studied art at the Accademia di Belle Arti, and met Syrian artist Wahbi Al-Hariri there – they would remain friends for the rest of Kayali’s life (Al-Hariri became his mentor). Later on, Fateh Moudarress (also mentored by Al-Hariri) and Kayali represented Syrian modern art at the Venice Biennial Fair.

laundrette/The Laundrette/

Kayali graduated in Rome in 1961 and returned to Syria where he started his career as a fine arts professor at Damascus University, where Fateh Moudarres also taught.

Kayali’s artwork changed during his life, he…

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An artist created a giant mural across 50 buildings in Cairo without the government noticing Chris Weller Mar 30, 2016.

Amid Cairo’s brick buildings and heaping piles of trash is a sprawling work of art, which, at first, looks messy and incoherent.

But when you stand on the nearby hillside and read the spray-painted Arabic “calligraffiti,” as its creator Tunisian-French artist eL Seed calls it, the message reads loud and clear: “If one wants to see the light of the sun, he must wipe his eyes.”

The quote represents the importance of withholding judgment of people just because of their circumstances, says eL Seed, who first visited the community a few years ago. He’s called the piece “Perception” for just that reason, hoping to get people to see past the area’s physical appearance.

The entire piece took three weeks to complete, and eL Seed says it was done in total secrecy from the Egyptian government due to the country’s strict laws forbidding artistic expression.

More: http://www.techinsider.io/artist-el-seed-giant-mural-cairo-2016-3

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Ferozkoh: Renewing the Arts of the Turquoise Mountain July/August 2015, Written by Lee Lawrence Photographs courtesy of Turquoise Mountain Institute

It is difficult to create art in isolation,” says master calligrapher Khwaja Qamaruddin Cheshti. The artist “needs to be surrounded by older art, and maybe he combines his skills with the inspiration he finds in older pieces.”

Cheshti is speaking through a translator from the Turquoise Mountain Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture in Kabul, Afghanistan. A restored, 19th-century fort in the historic Murad Khane neighborhood, its alcoves topped with delicately pointed arches, it is a fitting backdrop to speak about two weeks he and more than a dozen Afghan artists and craftspeople spent in Doha, Qatar, at the Museum of Islamic Art—or mia—where Cheshti rediscovered this age-old truth.

More: http://www.aramcoworld.com/en-US/Articles/July-2015/Ferozkoh-Renewing-the-Arts-of-the-Turquoise-Mount

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The Art Of Mohammad Khayata.

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khayataweb/Walking on Thread, photo via Mohammad Khayata website/

I was first introduced to Mohammad Khayata’s work while I was strolling down the streets of Beirut last November. On of his works (Walking on Thread) was exhibited in a gallery I passed by and it caught my eye immediately. I told myself I should remember his name and investigate more about his art when I come back home.

Khayata is a painter and a photographer, born in Damascus in 1985. His first solo exhibition was organized in Lebanon, three years ago.

mohamad kh

Khayata’s work is beautiful – it’s sensitive, powerful, thoughtful. In Bits and Pieces, he portrays symbols of what went on in Syria, combining stories and memories like a patched work stitched and tied to a canvas.

The images capture real life grief – from the portrait of a man wrapped in a patched quilt made of memories to…

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Salahi’s Garden & What’s Inevitable.

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el_salahi/photo: Behind the Mask 1 by El-Salahi © Haupt & Binder/

Ibrahim El-Salahi is a Sudanese artist, an important figure in African and Arab modernism. El-Salahi is considered a pioneer in Sudanese art and was a member of the Khartoum School that was founded by Osman Waqialla.

Hassan Musa writes about El-Salahi (he first heard stories about him when he was a teenage boy): “I was fascinated by the idea that an ordinary Muslim man could live as an artist, because in my imagination they were unreal creatures who came out of European literature”.

El-Salahi’s international success soon turned him into a national hero, so much so that in 1970 the Department of Tourism distributed a poster in which El-Salahi posed in his studio, with the caption “Sudanese artist at work”.

mid-late-60s-6e_0/photo © Ibrahim El-Salahi, via Tate/

El-Salahi developed his own style and was one of the first artists to elaborate the Arabic calligraphy…

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Exhibition “In Search of Lost Time” at SOAS

Arab Hyphen

The exhibition In Search of Lost Time (not the Proust novel), which runs at the Brunei Gallery, in the School of Oriental & African Studies until the 19th of March, “presents work by 13 artists who seek to reframe conventional interpretations of time in the Gulf.” The  Arabic title of the exhibition, Urgent Memory is apt, as the exhibition

explores the complex relationship between image, speed and time in the Gulf, questioning the chronological and territorial notion of the region and the paradigms of its underlying identity.”

In part, the exhibition examines  the tensions between nostalgia and notions of tradition and authenticity and narratives of utopia, prosperity and the construction of a Gulf modernity.

Sophia Al Maria, coined the term “Gulf futurism,” which

has since been used as a byword for the way that a generation, forced indoors thanks to the intense heat, developed a view of the future informed almost exclusively…

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Jameel Prize 4 – V & A Museum London.

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The V&A has announced the shortlist for the Jameel Prize 4. Eleven artists and designers have been shortlisted for this year’s £25,000 prize, which is awarded every two years in partnership with Art Jameel. They are:

David Chalmers Alesworth
Rasheed Araeen
Lara Assouad
Canan
Cevdet Erek
Sahand Hesamiyan
Lucia Koch
Ghulam Mohammad
Shahpour Pouyan
Wael Shawky
Bahia Shehab

http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-jameel-prize/jameel-prize-4/

WAEL SHAWKY – CABARET CRUSADES: THE PATH TO CAIRO

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Wael Shawky “Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo”, 2012 Vídeo monocanal, color, so, 58 min Col·lecció MACBA. Fundació MACBA. Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw © Wael Shawky, 2015
Once again, the MACBA collaborates with the Loop Festival showing the work of Wael Shawky, Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo, 2012, in the Tower room on 4, 5 and 6 June.
The work will be seen showed as part of the MACBA Collection exhibition: Desires and Necessities that opens on 18 June.

More: http://www.macba.cat/en/expo-loop-wael-shawky-cabaret-crusades

A project by LOOP Barcelona in collaboration with MACBA.