secretary } opening night photos by reem algharabali


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Listen to Aventine by Agnes Obel, off the Sombreve playlist:

Last night has finally come and sadly gone. I had been anticipating it since May, and for the last six months I have been working obsessively, compulsively, tirelessly to reach Secretary status. It was torturous creating drawings I was excited about without posting on either Instagram or here. It was important to keep my project under wraps because I wanted there to be an element of surprise. Simultaneously, I was working on ‘red herring’ drawings and paintings to throw people off the scent. It was exhausting. And now it’s time to share. Finally!

As with all my previous exhibitions, there are two or three photographers who stand out. These are people who are dear and close to my heart and who thoughtfully capture the spirit of my shows through their perspectives. In this post I’ll share with you Reem Algharabali’s photos. For those of you who could not attend last night’s opening of Secretary, I hope this post gives you some insight.

Thank you, Reem. Not only for the pictures, but for being a familiar face in the crowd.

Tomorrow is the last day of Secretary. I do hope that those of you who are in Kuwait and haven’t yet seen the show come. I will be there from 10am to 4pm, and for those who come, I have a special pocket just for you.

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secretary } loft965’s sombreve tonight

eve and the music inside her

eve and the music inside her

In August I was asked by Loft965‘s Nasser AlQatami to create an Eve for his September playlist. He explained it was an annual list which was traditionally broody and moody; a little like me, a little like Eve. Of course I said yes. He told me how his playlist titles were always portmanteaus so together we came up with Sombreve. It has a French ring to it, but I like it despite the fact. Click here to download the playlist. Oh and the whole point of all this is that I’ve been wondering what to play tonight. I’m usually so sure and prepared but not with this show. So this morning driving back from dropping off the children at school, Sombreve popped to mind and I immediately Whatsapped Nasser about it, and thankfully he not only said yes but had it delivered on a flashdrive and CD. Now that’s lofty service. Thank you, Nasser!


tuesday night, bring your appetites

Thank you, Mo, for working with me on this. My brother.

new paintings } the centerfold II and III

the three centerfolds } secretaries red, yellow and green

the three centerfolds } secretaries orange, yellow and green

After painting my first two Centerfolds, I decided that they would seem a little out of place in my upcoming exhibition. So I scrapped work on the third (and originally fourth) painting. Yesterday my dear friend Mai visited the gallery and asked me where they were. I told her that I felt they were superfluous and irrelevant. To that she objected and said that they would actually ‘clinch’ the show. So I decided to put them back in. This morning I completed my third Centerfold thanks to Mai. And this is why it’s important to have your loved ones visit pre-show.  Read More

secretary } let the preps begin!

the four men who made my light boxes. thank you, fellas! these guys work really, really hard to realize the dream of one person. seems a little lop-sided in the grand scheme of things

the four men who made my light boxes. thank you, fellas! these guys work really, really hard to realize the dream of one person. seems a little lop-sided in the grand balance of the universe, but that’s how things go in this life

Yesterday the crew at the Sultan Center and I began preparing for my exhibition next Tuesday. It’s a relief to begin but my brain is all over the place. There are so many details that I have to see to and still a few ideas that need to be tested out. I am taking a deep, week-long breath and hoping it all works out to my expectations. Fingers crossed. Read More

secretary } the kalamazoo stacks } 01-51

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These are 51 of around 500 drawings I’ve done on this paper for my upcoming show secretary. The stationary is made specially for Mogahwi, my favorite suppliers at the moment. Not the store in the City but the one in old Salmiya. They have the most antiquated stationary there, I love it. I called this collection The Kalamazoo Stacks because it says Kalamazoo on the bottom left-hand corner of the paper and I thought: what a cool word. Stacks because they stack so beautifully. The quality is slightly rough which creates a rich tactile surface. I’m really enjoying handling these.

I’m missing #43. I don’t think I ever did a 43.

Watch and listen: Sia, Numb

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time to draw those little red circles around a date

ghadah alkandari secretary invite


This is it. It’s official and there’s no turning back. I know many of you can’t be here but never underestimate the power of good will. Wish me luck!

in bazaar, on bazaar

eve up to her antics again } this month eve photobombs the cover of bazaar magazine. the photo was taken by my sister-in-law jana alnaqeeb. the model is dawnn karen and the typewriter is my son’s. oh and i made the dress. the idea to include eve in the design was bazaar’s. lastly, a big thank you to padmini chandrasebaran for bringing it all together

A few weeks ago I asked the editor-in-chief/resident guru of Bazaar, Ahmed El Adly, if he could please, pretty please let me design the October cover of his magazine. After begging (and bribing him with cookies), he accepted.  Read More

and in the news today

ode to the secretary

ode to the secretary

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I am so happy with this ledger I’ve been working on for my upcoming exhibition that I couldn’t resist sharing a few pictures with you tonight. Details about the exhibition are soon to come!

Just a quickie, I did these by firstly using decopatch glue to transfer the newsprint onto the paper, and afterwards using carbon paper to create the duplicates on top of the print. Fun!

Because I’m in love with Hooverphonic at the moment: ‘We All Float’.

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new ‘painting’ } the centerfold I

the centerfold I, 2014, acrylic on paper

the centerfold I, 2014, acrylic on paper

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The closest thing I’ve ever come to feeling in love without being in love is this. I’m excited, giddy, nervous and I’m laughing out loud because I’m happy. I wasn’t sure where I was going with this one but I think it’s finally worked and I’ll use it for my upcoming exhibition. Which means I must create more. And happily I will.

I decided to include a song on this post, so I told myself the first song that pops up on my iTunes I’ll post. But I didn’t think Run DMC’s ‘It’s Tricky’ was befitting, so I chose the second song, Metric’s ‘Gimme Sympathy’. Enjoy.

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