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.
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
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!
I’m finally posting my brother Mohammed’s photos of the opening night of my exhibition Kiss & Cut. Unfortunately, he was having trouble with his camera and wasn’t too happy with what he took. But to me it’s not about the final photos. It’s a personal appreciation of his being there and capturing the moments that only he could see. Thanks, Moh! Always.
These are some photos I took last night. Apart from my feet being torn apart by killer heels, I think the night went well. It’s always good to interact with people who have just met your work. Traditionally, I post my brother Mohammed’s photos, but unfortunately his camera failed him yesterday. He did take some shots but will take some more soon, fingers crossed. Meanwhile, here’s a somewhat perfunctory glimpse of the exhibition.
The exhibition runs from March 3-March 14. The gallery is closed on weekends.
My little cousin was on the plane with me a couple of nights ago. She saw my sketchbook and asked me, ‘Do you draw every day?’ I immediately said, ‘Yes’. Without even thinking. Even though I hadn’t drawn a thing is days. Was that a lie? Or just circumstances which kept me from what I do most naturally? Today, I drew again for the first time in over a week. And it feels great. And I’m probably going to be drawing every single day until the first week of March, when my next exhibition will be. Read More
I haven’t had much time to visit the galleries this season but this particular show was important to me because not only are LB o J’zazz‘s Lubna Saif Abbas and Bettina Al-Bakhit good friends of mine, but I am so inspired by their hand-made jewelry and am a little girl lost in their bead haven in the middle of Shaab (on the seaside). Totemic Flights is the duo’s first showing of their ‘artisanal body adornment’. You can meet Lubna and check out LB o J’zazz’s exquisite jewelry yourself; just click here for the details. Read More
I had a busy morning bouncing from one gallery to another. In all, a friend and I dropped by four exhibitions. Our first stop was the Tareq Boutaihi exhibition at Boushahri Gallery. I didn’t immediately take to Boutaihi’s intimate look at barely clothed women but soon their bodies and expressions won me over. As much as I was inspired by his rendition of the female form, I felt a certain lack of sensitivity from the artist in their faces. But that’s just me. I have face bias. Bonus was seeing Mr. Jawad Boushahri. Double bonus was bumping into artist Ja’afar Islah. Read More
I visited Gallery Tilal for very personal reasons yesterday: the exhibition of my first ever inspiration, Sami Mohammad. I remember my father taking me to the Free Arts Atelier over thirty years ago. When my eyes fell on Mohammad’s shocking sculptures. As scary as they should have been to an eight-year-old, I wasn’t afraid; I was just fascinated by his depiction of the human form. He was the first person to demonstrate to me the impossibilities we can achieve through our work as artists with a free mind: the impossibility of a jaw stretching that far down, the impossibility of a man fitting in such a small box, the impossibility of the limbs bending the way they do. But most importantly, I wondered at the emotion and desperation which push a man to end up in such states of impossibility. And from that day on, I started testing myself, my mind and experimented with how far I could push that envelope. So although you exhibit very rarely, thank you for sharing yourself with us one more time (in a career which has spanned over forty years, this is just his third solo exhibition). Read More
I think this is going to be one of the most exciting events of the year, if only for the birth of a new Kuwaiti hub for the contemporary arts. I’m not going to be able to attend but gallery director Liane Al-Ghusain was gracious enough to let me have a sneak peak Wednesday morning, an experience I will definitely be sharing with you guys. Good luck, Liane!
Cross the bridge for details. Read More
Imagine flipping through one of your favorite local magazines and POP!-there’s your painting. I know this means nothing to anyone else but me, but wowie (with a squeek and a clap of the hands). Check out Bazaar Magazine for some other fun articles. Who knows, you might find your own you in there.
I can’t believe these paintings have been up all summer! I would have loved to have visited earlier. It’s nice to know that something was going on in this long season of draught. If anyone is interested, the exhibition will be up until the end of August, at Gallery Tilal. Read More
Boushahri’s 3rd Annual Art Salon has opened and I finally got a chance to visit this morning. This exhibition will be up until September 15, so there’s lots of time to visit. It’s a very peaceful gallery and there are lots of places to sit and contemplate the works.
Boushahri Gallery, Baghdad Street, Building 36, Salmiya. Tel: firstname.lastname@example.org Read More
Last Thursday, in the nick of time, I managed to make it to Reza Doust‘s exhibition at the Sultan Gallery. According to his tally, I was the fourth Kuwaiti artist to visit that afternoon. Not bad for someone who has never been in the top ten of anything before. Back to the point, I had seen some of his latest works either on his site or Facebook page, so knew what to expect. Yet I was taken aback by the sheer size of his paintings. He’s a tiny man who works in a tiny basement studio in Canada. How did he manage works of such magnitude and painted with such skill? In an area so small, how did he put so much movement and freedom into his work? I think the answer comes from a passion inside the man to release the daily burdens imposed either by others or himself. When I see the cut-outs on his canvases, the papers he has collected over the years, including earlier inspirations, I picture a madman in his laboratory, finally deciding to put his references (and life) in order. And I see an organized chaos that so appeals to my sense of dichotomy. I envy his restraint for using color; because it’s hard to stick to a few tones on your palette and still make the painting look as colorful and vibrant as his. I know it’s a cliche, but Doust has proven that great things come in small packages. Read More
Ten days left. Or is it nine? I’m starting to feel a bit of the buzz I usually get a few weeks before any exhibition. The butterflies I usually reserve for opening day. That’s when I can’t sit still and it’s best to avoid me. Cross the bridge for a map to Gallery Tilal. Read More