Beirut Art Fair, a reflection of the region's suffering and resurrection

by Zeina Nasser English Zeina_w_Nasser

25 September 2017 | 16:27

Source: by Annahar

Details of Abed al Kadiri's painting at the Beirut Art Fair (Annahar Photo/ Yaman Attal)

BEIRUT: Out of 1,400 works of art in the 8th edition of Beirut Art Fair, a collection of dominating vibes at Hall 2, in Biel is realizable. 

The exhibition this year, in which 51 galleries are participating, is a reflection of the region’s suffering and resurrection.

Neon lights and digital art occupy a large section of the exhibition, making our digital selves in a digital world more of a projection settling in subtle works of art.

It’s a journey ranging from digital, acrylic, and oil paints to reach resins, various mixed media, and different material used in sculptures.

After looking at food art resembled in beautiful ceramics, and bright lemons that are full of life, in a section called “Lemons and Rainbows” by Bankmed, a collection of paintings and drawings in a nearby section by the Lebanese artist Abed al Kadiri will strike the visitor's sight.  

Al Kadiri used Oil, charcoal, and gold leaf on canvas to convey the pains and mixed feelings he had when the leader of IS, Abo Bakr al-Baghdadi’s had his first speech in Iraq.

The speech, which symbolized the creation of IS and the beginning of mere suffering in the Arab region, took place in The Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul. This is what we knew about it.

However, that event means something else to the painter, since the speech happened on his birthday.

That work of art, entitled “Al-Maqama 2014” “documents the critical moment in modern Arab history”, Al Kadiri indicates in his art catalogue “Al Maqama 2014.”

Al Kadiri also says that he is inspired by Yahya ibn Mahmud al-Wasiti, a 13th-century Iraqi Islamic artist, who was known for his illustrations of the Maqam of al-Hariri.

“The former [Al-Wasiti] rebukes life, art, and beauty; while the latter [al-Baghdadi] glorifies violence and mutilation. Although I insisted on ignoring it, it somehow managed to seep into the surfaces of my canvas,” Al Kadiri says in his catalogue.

Other paintings for Al Kadiri document, artistically, the Islamic State’s destruction of ancient statues and museums in Iraq. Perhaps, using charcoal to draw the fallen statues is to say that they are now from the past, while the killing and torment are shown clearly in colors.

The painting tells visitors that this is the present and IS’ Massacres are the present.

Another reflection of the region can be seen in a sculpture named “Dreams 2017” by a Syrian artist, Shadi Abou Sada.

Dreams, for Abou Sada, are broken; but they seem to resurrect in his art. Using resins in his sculptures of characters looking up or seeming as if they are begging to dream, the artist might be showing us what it is like to dream, as colored beings, in the Arab region.

A calm and self-reflecting stop in that artistic journey is a painting by the Franco Lebanese artist David Daoud. His paintings clearly reflect inspirations by opera and classical music, mainly Bach, Daoud tells Annahar.

Daoud’s painting “Dialogue, 2016” is a 200*200 cm oil on canvas painting. It is full of warm colors, conveying sincerity.

Beirut Art Fair is worth attending. Representing the diversity of Beirut, it offers a plethora of artistic pieces that can meet different tastes.

The exhibition was created in 2010 and is directed by Laure d’Hauteville, an exhibition curator and former journalist. 

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