Love it or hate it: That’s some pop icon-ography!

Updated 15 May 2012

Love it or hate it: That’s some pop icon-ography!

Rinat Shingareev is a 26-year-old Russian pop art painter based in Italy. He was only six years old when he first began his indulgence in art and realized the power it possessed over his life. Today he is touted by the Italian Maxim magazine as “one of the most talented artists in the world”. Did I mention yet that one of his paintings was sold for over a staggering 6.8 million Euros at a Sotheby’s auction in 2008? Yes.
He paints those unforgiving figures who have refused to stop bombarding us with their lingering presence and will forever hold hostage our celluloid screens, newspapers, magazines and remain the food for “seriously-trite” babble at any given party. And just when we think we’ve had enough, here he goes capturing the essence of our most revered and reviled pin-up rock-stars, politicians and actors in their most gloriously projected personas.
Let’s read to find out what sets this gentleman more than a tad apart from other wannabe pop artists today.

Have you always known you wanted to be an artist?
Being an artist was my destined fate, and that was pretty much clear to me from the moment I first picked up a brush and applied my first line to the canvas. ‘What’s meant for you won’t pass you by’ — that saying applies to me perfectly!

All your paintings feature popular media figures. What is it that you choose to express through their images?
I’m an observer who comments on the things that surround us. The main purpose of my art is to transmit the spirit of an epoch through the people who play large roles in various spheres of our society — from politics to showbiz. I represent the reality around me, just like Andy Warhol who told his era through the portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

Your paintings also highlight popular contemporary symbolism — pyramids, devils’ horns and skulls associated with these figures. Why do you choose to bring that focus?
Before I begin to paint, I work a lot on the details and they all have their meaning. For me, it wouldn’t make sense to create a work with meanings that are not visible at first sight.
“I have heard many opinions about my paintings. If I give my interpretation, I would kill all the opinions of others. I would kill people’s imagination. And I can’t afford to do that, because fantasy is one of the most precious things in a person.

Do you use any digital manipulation in your work?
Never. All my works are painted in oil on canvas.

One of your works sold for over 6.8 million euro at a Sotheby’s auction. How does that make you feel?
Money is not the main purpose of my art. It just sets me free and helps to realize my projects. I want to create work that will change people’s views on art. Money is just a compensation for the time and effort spent.

What does pop art mean to you?
It’s art which follows the trends in politics, show business, fashion, design, music and cinematography, and which by means of simple elements tells the time.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by the desire to see the final result of my work. I also travel a lot. New places and interesting people also inspire me and bring new elements into my art.

What works can we expect in the near future? Do you plan to continue experimenting in pop art or are you up for exploring other mediums and expressions?
I have a lot of ideas that I would like to realize. At the moment I’m working on my solo exhibition. It will be a very big special event. Also, I will continue my experiments in fashion design, photography and video.
For more information on Rinat Shingareev, visit:

Egyptian DJ Raveland makes melting-pot music from the UAE

DJ Raveland was raised in Abu Dhabi. (Supplied)
Updated 19 August 2019

Egyptian DJ Raveland makes melting-pot music from the UAE

DUBAI: The Egyptian music producer and DJ who goes by the name Raveland has surprised his fans with a new hit this summer. 

Raveland hosts concerts around the UAE. (Supplied)

Honoring the Swedish musician Avicii, who died in Oman last year, “My Way” is an old-school house music track. “Avicii was one of my idols. Nothing will top his productions, but I wanted to bring back this vibe to the industry,” the artist told Arab News. 

“‘My Way’ is different from everything I have done before. It is calm, and focuses more on the vocals and the melody,” he added. 

The musician, who is signed with Universal Music MENA, was able to build a large fan base with tracks and mix tapes reaching more than 100,000 streams and downloads internationally. 

The DJ’s ambitions pushed him to release a music video for his track “Rêve” on Vevo that featured one of his events in Abu Dhabi with fans enjoying his various music genres.

Raised in Abu Dhabi, Raveland has been touring around the UAE to perform his tracks, including “Resolution 19,” “Dreamville” and “Way to Tomorrowland.”

In June, he released an extended play – a short album featuring four tracks – called “28.” From trance to romantic, “28” had it all. 

Raveland released his recent album "28" this summer. (Supplied)

Under the big umbrella of electronic dance music, Raveland’s productions bring different cultures together. One of his “28” tracks, “Auaha,” is inspired by New Zealand’s old tribes. “My passion for music is endless. I am constantly trying to explore more genres and more types of music to target a larger audience.” 

Raveland has previously collaborated with musicians such as the UAE-based DJ XABB and the Tunisian DJ Eyjey. Exclusively to Arab News, Raveland announced that he is working on a piece that follows the Latino genre reggaeton, like the famous “Despacito” hit, in collaboration with a Puerto Rican singer. 

The DJ also promised to bring back his online radio show, called “We Are Ravelands,” which has been on hiatus for a few months. “I will bring it back, real strong,” the host said. “The show will feature a lot of collaborations from all around the world, like Egypt, Spain and the US.”