The Six: Middle East-based graffiti artists to watch out for

Artist Suhaib Attar is from Amman, Jordan. (AFP)
Updated 10 November 2018

The Six: Middle East-based graffiti artists to watch out for

DUBAI: These Middle East-based graffiti artists are redefining the urban landscape in cities across the region.
Suhaib Attar
The graffiti artist from Amman, Jordan, was part of a small group working across the city to “transform these great big walls of dull concrete into an expressive painting that is full of life,” he told AFP last year.

eL Seed
Tunisian street artist and calligrapher eL Seed is one of the best-known graffiti artists in the region. He has created murals across the Middle East, from Egypt to Lebanon and beyond.
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In 2015, I painted this mural in Shoreditch, London. The wall is gone today. That was part of the agreement. As I was walking by this street today, I reflected on the quote that I used. It reads the words of John Locke : “It is one thing to show a man that he is in an error and another to put him in possession of truth” I chose this quote as I was making this piece weeks after the massacre in Sousse, Tunisia, and the shooting in Charleston the same month. As an artist coming to the UK, I thought the quote could open up a dialogue about the collective responsibility we have toward each other. When somethig wrong happens, we always put blame on someone else. But the responsibility lies with all of us. It is our responsibility to find a way to keep it from happening. #london #collectiveresponsibility #locke #fortheloveofpink

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Yazan Halwani
Lebanese graffiti artist Yazan Halwani, who started experimenting with the art form in 2007, is known for focusing on the shape, rather than the meaning, of the Arabic calligraphy he paints.
Fats Patrol
The Indian-Canadian artist was born and raised in Dubai and boasts work that is inspired by everything from Indian block printing to Arab henna styles and calligraphy.
Dina Saadi
Born in Russia, raised in Syria and currently based in Dubai, Dina Saadi has worked with brands like Apple, Instagram and Uber. Her bright color palette and recurring female symbols make her work immediately identifiable.
Artist Marwan Shakarchi’s most recognized symbol is a cloud with facial features. His work is vibrant, boldly defined and striking.

HIGHLIGHTS from ‘In the Age of New Media’ exhibit in Dubai

"Fish" by Youssef Abdelke. (Supplied)
Updated 17 December 2018

HIGHLIGHTS from ‘In the Age of New Media’ exhibit in Dubai

DUBAI:“In the Age of New Media” presented six works from five Syrian artists and is described by curators at the Atassi Foundation as “a thoughtful selection of contemporary classics, referring to the traditional art of painting.” The exhibit was showing at Al Serkal Avenue in Dubai and closed on Dec.16.

“Fish” (2015)
Youssef Abdelke
In this piece, Abdelke conveys oppression and violence, but through the gradation of the charcoal also implies a sense of optimism to the viewer.

“Time Immortal” (2018)
Kevork Mourad
New York-based Murad is originally of Armenian origin, and this work, drawn on muslin fabric then cut out and arranged in rows to create “an installation of sorts,” is connected to Mesopotamia and, according to the release that marked the exhibition’s launch “declares his affiliation to this part of the earth.”

“The Deluge” (2012)
Elias Zayat
The subtitle of this piece is “The Gods Abandon Palmyra,” and it is based on the ancient flood story of Mesopotamian legends, the Holy Qur’an and the Bible, but retold in “a fantastic contemporary artistic language.” Zayat has described the essence of the story as an attempt to “reorganize the universe and rebuild it in an honorable manner after it was over-flooded by evils…”