Exlplore the art of the written word at Misk Art 2018

The gallery presented visitors with the dynamic curls and swirls of the written word that characterize Arabic calligraphy. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
Updated 04 November 2018

Exlplore the art of the written word at Misk Art 2018

RIYADH: The spellbinding beauty of exquisitely scripted words set against white walls was almost overpowering at the Arabic Calligraphy Gallery that ran as part of Misk Art 2018 in Riyadh.

The gallery presented visitors with the dynamic curls and swirls of the written word that characterize Arabic calligraphy — some of the pieces on show featured whole verses of the Qur’an, while others were smaller, more delicate works.

The exhibit, which will close its doors on Saturday, was curated by Fahad Al-Mujahidi, a calligrapher who was mentored by a renowned calligraphy artist in Turkey, Hassan Jalabi.

“We picked the calligraphy works based on its artistic value,” Al-Mujahidi told Arab News.

“We picked the most prominent calligraphers in the world — from Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia,” he added.




 (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)

When asked what his favorite piece in the gallery was, he said: “They are all close to my heart, but my favorite would be the ones by Daud Baktash,” a Turkey-based artist who is widely considered a master calligrapher.

“One of the most difficult Arabic handwriting (forms) is Al-Thulth then Al-Naskh,” Al-Mujahidi said, referring to two of the many different recognized styles of Arabic calligraphy. “I am specialized in both. It is a rich art and we continue to learn its trade.”
Seventeen calligraphers showcased their masterpieces in the exhibition, including Mohammad Farouq, Muthana Al-Obaidi, Ahmad Fares and Mohammad Özçay among others.




 (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)


Although Misk Art 2018 has wrapped up, art aficionados will still be able to see the final creations of the Misk International Sculpture Symposium. Curated by the Saudi sculptor Ali Al-Tokhais, the event sees 21 artists from 13 countries gather in the capital to create original art pieces out of locally sourced marble blocks over the space of three weeks.

Misk Art 2018 also featured a special exhibit curated by Jeddah-based Athr Gallery — a contemporary and modern art fair that showcased eight Saudi galleries in a diverse exhibition of local creativity.

Another section, titled Every Possible Angle, presented audiences with fresh and unexpected forms of technology-driven art.


Stars of the 'The Kitchen' movie talk to Arab News

“The Kitchen,” stars Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Domhnall Gleeson. (Supplied)
Updated 22 August 2019

Stars of the 'The Kitchen' movie talk to Arab News

DUBAI: “The Kitchen,” starring Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Domhnall Gleeson, is an ode to the ever-popular gangster movie, but also a reimagining. Three women who can’t pay the bills after their mobster husbands go to prison decide to take over the organization themselves — becoming violent criminals in the process. Gone is the Don, in his place are the Donnas.

“I love mobster movies, they’re some of my favorite movies, but I think I always watched them and thought, ‘Where am I in that story? Where am I represented?’ I never am. The opportunity to put those two things together — a real authentic, gritty mob story that has interesting, flawed, human women at the center of it felt like an incredible opportunity,” writer/director Andrea Berloff tells Arab News.

Andrea Berloff at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

In casting, Berloff went against type — McCarthy and Haddish are best-known for comedic roles, and Gleeson’s roles in “Star Wars” and the Oscar-nominated “Brooklyn” suggested anything but a gangster.

“If I’d read the script I wouldn’t have thought of me for the role, so I was thrilled that Andrea for some reason thought that I could do a good job. The good ones are a surprise to you as opposed to something you track down — or that’s the way it’s been for me so far. I never thought I’d really want to play a killer in a mob movie. When this script came along, that’s what I found a bit scary and interesting,” says Gleeson.

Domhnall Gleeson at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

Like Berloff, Moss has always loved the genre — especially the women in legendary projects such as “The Godfather” and “The Sopranos.” While the women of “The Kitchen” are different in many ways from those groundbreaking characters, they carry on their spirit.

“It’s something that we’ve seen in various mobster projects. With Diane Keaton and Edie Falco, and these incredible portrayals, I always find them the most interesting parts of those projects — to see the effect that that lifestyle has on women is really interesting,” Moss tells Arab News.

Elisabeth Moss loved the genre of the movie. (AFP)

McCarthy wasn’t as focused on the history of women in crime fiction as her co-star. Instead, the character and the script were rich enough that she was able to link it to her own life quite easily.

“I didn’t reference other movies,” she says. “For me, when a script it that good, and that complete, and that fully realized, I try to delve into the character itself. I thought about how I related as a mother of two, and what does that mean when you’re just trying to survive and try to take care of your kids. I don’t look to other movies as a guide — I’m a big movie fan, but I prepare a little more solo.”

Tiffany Haddish at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

“I’m the same way,” says Haddish.

“It just seemed easy. It’s that great thing. Especially with Andrea running the ship, we all saw the same movie, which was really great, and we all naturally get along,” says McCarthy.

 Melissa McCarthy at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

This is Berloff’s debut as a director (she was nominated for an Oscar for writing the 2016 hit “Straight Outta Compton”) and she hadn’t originally planned on helming the movie herself. But she found she felt so passionate about the story that she wanted to oversee the whole project.

“There are times when I write a script and I’m happy to hand it off to someone else and let them run with it, but in this case I felt like I had so much more to say about these characters, and this world, and these themes,” she explains. “I went in to pitch as a director and started saying to them, ‘Here’s what’s not in the script that you don’t know.’”