Regional pop art prints to go on sale at Sole DXB

The Library. (Courtesy of The Third Line Gallery)
Updated 11 December 2018
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Regional pop art prints to go on sale at Sole DXB

DUBAI: Dubai-based urban festival Sole DXB is set to return on Dec. 6 with an exciting line-up of musicians set to perform at the celebration of all things hip-hop, fashion, art and basketball.

This year, Dubai-based The Third Line art gallery will set up a shop at the event, selling limited-edition prints by regional artists Amir H. Fallah, Farah Al-Qasimi, Hassan Hajjaj, Lamya Gargash, Nima Nabavi and Sara Naim.

Hassan Hajjaj "The Narcicyst" 2013. (Supplied)

Dubbed The Library, the shop will also offer up exclusive collaborations with three regional designers, including furniture pieces by Local Industries, which was founded in 2011 by Palestinian architects Elias and Yousef Anastas, jewelry inspired by Bedouin culture by HOOKED|HKD and glass vessels by Dima Srouji, who works with traditional glassblowers from the West Bank village of Jaba’.

Srouji’s project aims to reactivate the dying industry of Palestinian glassblowing and features glass objects that look like spiky goats, transparent cacti and giant millipedes.

Farah Al Qasimi "Falcon Hospital" 2017. (Supplied)

For art lovers who are seeking cutting-edge wall decoration, The Library’s offering of limited-edition prints is set to be quite a draw, with prints of work by the so-called “Andy Warhol of Marrakech” Hassan Hajjaj going on sale.

Hajjaj has scored more than a few celebrity fans, with US pop icon Madonna posting photos of a fun photo shoot with the artist on her Instagram account in August.

The Third Line’s booth at Sole DXB isn’t the only reason fans of art and urban culture should check out the event — a stellar lineup of performers is also set to attract hip-hop fans from around the region.

Nima Nabavi "Pixel Print" 2018. (Supplied)

Rap legend Nas will take to the stage with his socially conscious brand of hip-hop and New York-based rap duo Lion Babe, made up of Lucas Goodman and singer Jillian Harvey, will also perform. Meanwhile, Dominican-American singer DaniLeigh and British grime artist Giggs will entertain the crowd, among a host of other performers.

Founded in 2005, The Third Line represents contemporary Middle Eastern artists locally, regionally and internationally and its shop, The Library, is just one step toward making regional art a tad more affordable.


Emirati artist Farah Al-Qasimi’s first solo US show set to open

Farah Al-Qasimi’s ‘Living Room Vape’ (2017). (Supplied)
Updated 16 July 2019
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Emirati artist Farah Al-Qasimi’s first solo US show set to open

DUBAI: Emirati artist Farah Al-Qasimi’s first solo exhibition at a US institution is set to open on July 30 at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Working in photography, video, and performance, Al-Qasimi’s work explores themes of gender, nationality and class. Her photographs subvert ingrained expectations of how images are constructed and understood and she is known for borrowing conventions from various sources, including documentary photography and Renaissance paintings.

Um Al Naar (Mother of Fire) (still), 2019. (Supplied)

Camouflage and concealment play a central role in the artist’s work. In a recent series of portraits, Al-Qasimi obscures the faces of her subjects while capturing intimate images, despite the lack of a clear, engaging face. Various compositional strategies hide identifying features — behind plumes of smoke, a well-placed hand, or sumptuously patterned textiles and drapery — while she still manages to accentuate the opulent interiors her subjects inhabit.

Alongside a group of recent photographs, the exhibition will include a screening of Al-Qasimi’s new film, “Um Al Naar (Mother of Fire)” (2019), which was recently unveiled at Art Basel Statements.

M Napping on Carpet, 2016. (Supplied)

The 40-minute video is structured like a television documentary following a jinn — a ghost-like entity in Islamic tradition. Delivering a confessional, reality TV-style monologue, the jinn appears on camera beneath a patterned sheet. The video interweaves her thoughts on centuries of Portuguese and British colonial meddling in the modern-day emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah in the UAE. The video also explores the influence of the European presence in the region and the use of Euro-centric practices for the display of historical artifacts.

Curated by Henriette Huldisch, the director of exhibitions at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, the exhibition marks the first time Al-Qasimi’s work has been shown in a solo exhibition in the US — it is set to wrap up on Oct. 20.  

The artist lives and works between New York and Dubai and has seen her work exhibited in The Third Line gallery in Dubai, Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai and the San Francisco Arts Commission, among other locations.

Al-Qasimi received her MFA from the Yale School of Art and has participated in residencies at the Delfina Foundation in London; the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine; and is a recipient of the New York NADA Artadia Prize and the Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship.