Welcome to Miami: Mideast artists head to Art Basel

'Untitled (Food For Thought series)' by Maha Malluh. (AFP)
Updated 26 November 2018

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.

 


Lebanese concept store Dikkeni gives back through art, fashion

Dikkeni aims to supports the creative industry in Lebanon. (Instagram)
Updated 19 September 2020

Lebanese concept store Dikkeni gives back through art, fashion

DUBAI: Founded in London, online concept store Dikkeni is home to a number of established and up-and-coming Lebanese artists, designers and creative talents who sell their wares through the platform, which in turn ensures all net proceeds made from consumer purchases go directly to artists, brands and local NGOs.

Launched under the Lebanese non-profit organization Impact Lebanon, Dikkeni aims to supports the creative industry in Lebanon.

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New on Dikkéni // @alexandrahakim, hand-crafted sustainable and unique jewellery. #straightfromthestudio - Alexandra Hakim’s collections give a new lease of life to found materials and objects which would otherwise go to waste. Inspirations as varied as tomato stems from Beirut’s bustling markets and spent matchsticks found at home are repurposed into striking, contemporary pieces of jewellery. Spearheading sustainability long before it became a trend, each of Alexandra Hakim’s pieces are meticulously made by hand, completely unique and naturally zero-waste. - Photography: @alexandrahakim #dikkeni #sustainable #conscious #sustainablelifestyle #sustainableliving #sustainabledesign #socialenterprise #craftsmanship #lebanon #madeinlebanon #beirut #alexandrahakim #jewellery #handcrafted

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Launched this summer, co-founder Daniella Chartouni spoke to Arab News about the aims of the website.

“Our primary interest is in supporting the designers and making sure that they can continue to produce. Our secondary interest is offering the relief to Lebanon that it needs” — something that is a key concern after the Aug. 4 explosion that ripped through Beirut.

Dikkeni launched in May after the founders felt the need to support the creative industry in their country.

A lot of designers, small businesses and artists in Lebanon have stopped producing due to inflation, Chartouni explained. “No one is buying in Lebanon so, it’s a very tough situation, and the creative industry is one of Lebanon’s best industries.” 

She also added that the street protests which occurred in Lebanon in 2019 constituted “a big time” for Lebanese artists. “They got very inspired by the change happening in the country. So, it was a great way to launch.”

The online platform recently launched their second collection. They partnered with non-profit organization Lebanon Needs, whose focus is healthcare and providing medication, products which Chartouni believes are very difficult to secure during the current situation.

Dikkeni is currently featuring eight artists and designers, who produce sustainable products in diverse art forms, like jewelry, home decor, photography, fashion and more. 

When speaking to Tina Mouheb, one of the UK-based artists who is currently working with Dikkeni, she said that this project is of great importance to her. 

“Firstly, it is my first ‘public’ art display which allows me – as a humble, uprising, socially conscious artist – to start finding my voice,” the designer and former landscape architect told Arab News. “Another reason is the timing of such initiative in the midst of (the) chaos in Lebanon. The need to help local Lebanese NGOs is imperative.”