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

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.


More: http://www.aramcoworld.com/en-US/Articles/July-2017/eL-Seed-s-New-Scripts

Somali American Artists Create a Space All Their Own by Sheila Dickinson For Hyperallergic


More: http://hyperallergic.com/327998/somali-american-artists-create-space/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Raiders%20of%20the%20Lost%20Archive%20How%20Newly%20Discovered%20Manuscripts%20of%20Afghanistan%20Ended%20Up%20in%20Israel&utm_content=Raiders%20of%20the%20Lost%20Archive%20How%20Newly%20Discovered%20Manuscripts%20of%20Afghanistan%20Ended%20Up%20in%20Israel+CID_0fe4885333e01c515e508b1db44edf8d&utm_source=HyperallergicNewsletter

Al Hangar and the New Generation of Saudi Artists

Arab Hyphen

d7hftxdivxxvm.cloudfront.netMyrna Award writes about  Al Hangar (The Warehouse) an initiative by young Saudi artists, who describe it as a cultural movement which aims to “ignite a sense of community.”

Artists are individually invited to show work at Al Hangar, similarly to a biennial. And so far, they’ve been inundated with requests to participate, an indication of both the buzz around the alternative space, and the growing energy around Saudi’s art scene.

The initiative is led by Ramy Alquthamy and Nasser Al Salem who hope to provide this sense of community for emerging Saudi artists, the “generation in waiting” as they were referred to in Edge of Arabia’s exhibition from a couple of years ago, Rhizoma, which aimed:

to provide a clear vision of the radical transformation in Saudi art, which is now more affiliated with its roots, to the real culture represented by the awareness of the different living conditions in…

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New generation of young Saudi artists  RASHEED ABOU-ALSAMH from Arab News

Published — Sunday 7 February 2016

Featured image 1: Gharem Studio presents ‘Ricochet’ (image from The Arab British Centre)

imgres  imgres-1

Image 2 & 3: Ajlan Gharem, Paradise Has Many Gates, 2015. Courtesy of Gharem Studio

A group of young Saudi contemporary artists is causing a sensation in the country and throughout the Middle East with their modern works, questioning some of the aspects of our society.

Gathered in art collective called “Edge of Arabia,” these 20 men and 18 women are producing some of the most modern and sophisticated works of art I have ever seen. Unlike the more traditional Saudi artists who only paint landscapes or abstract images, these young innovators use digital photography, painting and large installations to express themselves and engage the viewer.
Ajlan Gharem, a young Saudi who was born in Khamis Mushayt and now teaches mathematics at a public high school in Riyadh, recently made a small mosque completely from wire, with a minaret, which lights up in green lights at night. Faithful can come and pray, and there is an imam to lead the five prayers of the day.

More: http://www.arabnews.com/columns/news/876496

Jameel Prize 4 – V & A Museum London.


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
Cevdet Erek
Sahand Hesamiyan
Lucia Koch
Ghulam Mohammad
Shahpour Pouyan
Wael Shawky
Bahia Shehab


Two Iranian Artists and the Revolution BY ROBIN WRIGHT – CULTURE DESK SEPTEMBER 15, 2015, The New Yorker

More: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/two-iranian-artists-and-the-revolution?mbid=social_facebook

Karima: A Day In The Life Of A Henna Girl – Interview with Hassan Hajjaj – From Art Radar

Art Radar speaks to the London-based Moroccan artist about swagger, escapism and the theatre of life.

Following the world premieres of Karima: A Day In The Life Of A Henna Girl at LACMA and Art Basel, Art Radar delves into the mind of the astonishingly versatile artist Hassan Hajjaj.


More: http://artradarjournal.com/2015/07/15/karima-interview-with-hassan-hajjaj/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=karima-interview-with-hassan-hajjaj&from=feedblitz_403966_4985605


LACMA’s ground-breaking “Islamic Art Now” – in pictures from Art Radar

LACMA’s first exhibition of their contemporary Middle Eastern art collection charts the expanding parameters of Islamic art.

With a collection of Islamic art spanning from the Early to the Medieval and Late Islamic periods, LACMA in Los Angeles has recently been expanding into the contemporary arena. The first showing of its contemporary art collection from the Middle East has marked a milestone in the understanding of the region’s art history – as welll as triggering debate.


More: http://artradarjournal.com/2015/07/17/lacmas-ground-breaking-islamic-art-now-in-pictures/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lacmas-ground-breaking-islamic-art-now-in-pictures&from=feedblitz_403966_4985605


EXHIBITION ‘Light Bodies’ by Maïmouna Guerresi by Islamic Arts Magazine

Composed of photographic works, sculpture, installation and video, made in different periods, the exhibition ‘Light Bodies’ will be on view from March 5-8, 2015 at Volta NY and from March 20- May 1, 2015 at the Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in Seattle.

The work on the exhibition show Maïmouna’s artistic path and a journey to the different spiritual interpretations. At Volta visitors will be able to see: ‘White Rubber Tire – First Lesson’, 2014, ‘The Giants’, ‘Cosmo’ and ‘Supha’ and at the Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in Seattle: the photographic series of the Giants: ‘Moussa’, ‘Rhokaya’ and ‘Surprise’; the photo triptych ‘Table Red’ and ‘Blue Family’; the photographic installation ‘Cosmo’; the photos ‘Hats-Minarets’; and the video installation ‘Milky Light’.

M-Eating Series

‘White Rubber Tire – First Lesson’, 2014 is a part of the latest photographic series titled M-Eating. The seies presents images of African men, women, and children, in front of the same table, anticipating a banquet. But there is no food on the table, and just a few objects like a plate, a jug of water, or some remnants of war, that in this context lose the meaning of menace for a daily and decorative aspect. The scene in ‘First Lesson’ takes place around a red table with a teacher, children and a wheel on the table painted white and used as if it was an object of study. The scene has a psychological connotation as well as formal one. The colorful clothes, tablecloths, the bottoms of the walls painted by the artist, are part of this silent act of metaphysical suspension, something is going to happen, perhaps a dialogue or something else. This table encounter thus becomes an opportunity to reflect on contemporary man and his relationship to society.


Maïmouna Guerresi / M-Eating Series, Salt, 2013, Lambda print on aluminum, 70×246 cm – 110×387 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / M-Eating Series, White Cup, 2014, Lambda print on aluminum, 100×118 cm – 200×237 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / M-Eating Series, White Rubber Tires -First Lesson 2014, Lambda print on aluminum, 100×162 – 150×243 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

The Giants

In ‘The Giants’ series, the Maïmouna was inspired by the African Muslim mystics who appear in her photographs as large and imposing figure wearing the mantle, where only the hands and the face can be seen while the body is empty, a space that attracts new and unknown. The clothes are shaped in the architectural forms making metaphysical and surreal to become a whole with their body in the photograph.


Maïmouna Guerresi / Akbar, 2010, Lambda print on aluminum, 200×125 cm – 100×63 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / Rhokaya, 2010, Lambda print on aluminum, 200×125 cm -100×63 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / Surprise, 2010, Lambda print on aluminum, 200×125 cm -100×63 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


A large photographic installation ‘Cosmo’ is composed of circles in various sizes that give the effect of planets spinning around their orbit, representing a female figure dressed in black seen from the top, in various stages of counterclockwise rotation symbolizing the mystical dance of the Sufis.

imageMaïmouna Guerresi / Illumination 1, 2010 Lambda print on aluminum, 120×120 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / Illumination 3, 2010 Lambda print on aluminum, 100×53 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


Maïmouna Guerresi / Illumination 4, 2010 Lambda print on aluminum, 100×60 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery


In these works Maimouna focused on the highest part of the body – the Head. She crowned them with a number of artifacts in the form of Hat-Minaret, created in traditional way with simple materials and pieces of cloth, collected, put together and then sewn as is the tradition for the Sufi Muslims Baifall Senegal. The architectural form of head pieces make men tall and narrow. The characters in the photographs hide their faces with a hand gesture, they are blindfolded or simply close their eyes, to get away from the world and to get in tune with the cosmic divine spirit. The form of the Hat-Minaret can also be seen as a castle, a fortress, which protects the head, the highest part of the body but is also an extension of the same body, the antenna, the canal leading and transmitting spiritual energy.

‘Milky Light’, video installation

The work ‘Milky Light’ (2013, 23 min) consists of three large bowls in white resin, filled with milk. In each bowl there is a projection video that represents the hands of different people continuously taking the milk, in almost hypnotic rhythm, without emptying the bowls, symbolizing the well of infinite light. The video is accompanied by an ancient Sufi music, the sound representation of the circles of water, produced by the sound of a lute. This music used to be played as a form of healing in the old Turkish hospitals.

Maïmouna Guerresi

Maïmouna Guerresi is a photographer, sculptor, and video installation artist. She lives between Italy and Senegal. Maïmouna’s universe is as much the result of chemistry between cultural and religious influences, as the fusion of different artistic languages. Linked both to Italy and Senegal, to Western culture and Sufi philosophy, her works reflect a dual culture and a dual belonging, and above all, the search for equilibrium between these two worlds.

Maïmouna Guerresi was invited to participate in the Italian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1982-1986-2010 as well as Documenta K18 (1987) in Kassel, Germany. In 1991 Maïmouna travelled to various Muslim countries in Africa and converted to Islam whilst in Senegal.

Her work has been exhibited and collected all over the world.