Welcome to Miami: Mideast artists head to Art Basel

'Untitled (Food For Thought series)' by Maha Malluh. (AFP)
Updated 26 November 2018
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Welcome to Miami: Mideast artists head to Art Basel

  • The 17th edition Art Basel Miami Beach is set to run from Dec. 6-9
  • It will feature a startling sampling of art from the Middle East

DUBAI: The 17th edition Art Basel Miami Beach is set to run from Dec. 6-9 and will feature a startling sampling of art from the Middle East.

According to organizers, this year’s edition will see 268 galleries and 29 new entrants from 35 countries across North and Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East take part.

The main section of the fair, which is considered one of the key art events on the international calendar, will focus on art from Latin America, with certain galleries paying tribute to the Middle East.

Beirut-based Sfeir-Semler Gallery is gearing up to showcase mixed media works by Lebanese artists Etel Adnan, Walid Raad and Rayyane Tabet, according to Harper’s Bazaar Arabia. The gallery will also show off work by Egyptian artist Wael Shawky and Moroccan creative talent Yto Barrada.
 

Meanwhile, the art fair’s Nova section will present new works from around the world, including a video installation by Iraqi artist Hiwa K, set to be showcased by Prometeogallery di Ida Pisani. Tunis’s Selma Feriani Gallery will present a series of works by Saudi artist Maha Malluh. The contemporary Saudi artist focuses her work on the impact of globalization and consumer culture in the Kingdom. Her sculptures often include bric-a-brac collected from junk shops and flea markets and she has been known to work with cassette tapes, dog-eared dishes and long-discarded cooking pots. A creation entitled “Al-Muallaqat” was one of the first pieces to be showcased in the contemporary section of the Louvre Abu Dhabi — an eyebrow-raising sculpture consisting of a set of hefty, black-bottomed pots hung on a white wall.
 

Another popular artist whose early work will be showcased at the fair — in the Survey section — is Monir Farmanfarmaian, who is known for her mirrored mosaics. At 94 years old, the Iranian artist has had her work featured in several of the world’s leading museums, including Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Guggenheim in New York and London’s Tate Modern.

It’s an event that attracts the who’s who of the art industry — an ideal platform to show off Middle Eastern creativity on the world stage.

 


REVIEW: 'Stranger Things' season three

Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair), Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers), Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), Natalie Dyer (Nancy Wheeler) and Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven/Jane Hopper). (Netflix)
Updated 21 July 2019
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REVIEW: 'Stranger Things' season three

  • Hit series returns, funnier and freakier

DUBAI: Netflix’s “Stranger Things” crossed the line from hit series to cultural phenomenon pretty early on with its mix of Eighties nostalgia, sweetly humorous kids-coming-of-age story, sci-fi thrills and genuinely spooky scenes.

After a second season that brought a darker, more dangerous vibe but lost some of the fun, showrunners the Duffer Brothers seem to have struck a better balance between the two in the third season, released last week.

Set in the summer of 1985, the central gang of kids: Mike Wheeler, Will Byers, Lucas Sinclair, Max Mayfield, Dustin Henderson and telepath Eleven (or El — or Jane Hopper as she’s now the legal adoptive daughter of Sherrif Jim Hopper) are on school vacation, and it’s that awkward summer when the boys start to take more interest in girls than in Dungeons & Dragons, much to Will’s chagrin. Mike and Lucas are (at the start of the series at least) bumbling their way through relationships with El and Max respectively. The Duffers mine these awkward ‘first-love’ scenarios for rich humor and some genuinely touching moments, as well as some realistic takes on how the complications of love interests affects the tight-knit gang of boys we met in the first series. And of how they enable Max and El to bond. It’s great to see El relax into hanging out with her first real girlfriend (in the platonic sense).

There’s plenty of humor too in the double-act of Dustin and Steve Harrington — formerly the high-school heartthrob, but now struggling to retain his ‘cool’ edge while working in an ice-cream parlor in the town’s new social hotspot, the Starcourt Mall. New arrival Robin is his co-worker — and thorn in side, constantly puncturing his ego.

Of course, there’s a darkness stirring too. The sinister, otherworldly monster defeated by El at the end of season two is not, it seems, as gone as everyone thought. Strange power fluctuations trigger Will’s awareness of his nemesis, and the kids quickly realize that their summer holidays aren’t going to be as carefree as they’d hoped. There’s the issue of exploding rats, for starters, and Max’s older brother, Billy, is acting very, well, strange.

Everything that made “Stranger Things” so wildly popular, then, is still in place, including stellar performances from the ensemble cast and the eye-catching attention to Eighties pop culture (new Coke, Phoebe Cates and Ralph Macchio, for example), to — of course — the unsettling notion of something very wrong happening just beneath Hawkins’ shiny, happy surface.