Arab Artists' Majlis
Oct 13 – Dec 31, 2018
Made famous in New York in the 1970s, street art and graffiti have since transformed cities across the world, voicing cultural and political stories. A series of artists from the Arab world engaged with the history of the form, its local roots, and contemporary innovations during the Launch period. These diverse artists partnered with ArtX in New York’s Meatpacking District, creating site-specific work to accompany a contemporary Majlis, a newsroom, dining room and art event space. Incorporating distinctive accents from their own cultural heritage, the series considers the influence of place on the evolution of the movement – from origins to new contexts.
The son of renowned Iraqi architect Ali Mousawi and artist Maysaloun Faraj, Athier Mousawi’s approach to painting is shaped by a respect for the strident lines of bold Arab architecture and the color and vibrancy of Iraqi painting. Athier’s attention to the minute and narrative can be traced to his MA in illustration at Central Saint Martins, London. Upon moving to Paris, the spiritual home of Modernism, Athier began to combine all aspects Modernism, architecture, illustration, always retaining strong Iraqi influences.
Athier currently lives and works between Paris, London and Istanbul. A keen advocate of art education, he has led art workshops in refugee camps in Beirut, Istanbul, Amman and Jarash (2012), and throughout London as The National Portrait Gallery’s ‘Chasing Mirrors’ artist in residence (2011) and British Museum artist in residence 2007–2009.
Born in 1988, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Qandeel lives and works in Los Angeles. Qandeel creates passionate and unapologetic abstract paintings. Through bold use of line and color, he illustrates the coalescing of Saudi traditional norms and the vastly changing cultural landscape of the Arab world. As provocateur, he invites and instigates dialogue. His canvases decree: "I hereby state that I no longer accept the stereotype and the prison that has been handed to me over generations of time. I invite you to observe, feel and absorb the development of the new Arab culture, the revival of a new generation where investigation replaces revelation."
Arab Street Artists' Majlis is generously supported by WeWork.