Middle East masterpieces under the hammer at Christie’s 

Middle East masterpieces under the hammer at Christie’s 
Hayv Kahraman, “The Interpreter.” (Supplied)
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Updated 22 September 2022

Middle East masterpieces under the hammer at Christie’s 

Middle East masterpieces under the hammer at Christie’s 
  • Highlights from first exhibition curated by Christie’s new regional management 

 

DUBAI: Highlights from several upcoming sales at Christie’s London — predominantly the Middle East Sale taking place from 15-19 October — reveal a diverse range of art not limited to the Middle Eastern region.

From an intricately painted 2016 diptych (“The Interpreter”) by US-based Iraqi artist Hayv Kahraman to Palestinian artist Hazem Harb’s satirical “Hollyland,” which layers acrylic lettering in the style of Hollywood’s famous sign over an archival photograph of Jerusalem, through the late Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian’s mirrored disco ball sculpture from the 1970s, and even British painter L.S. Lowry’s iconic 1953 work “Going to the Match,” displayed in honor of the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar, highlights displayed in an exhibition at Christie’s showroom in Dubai until September 24 include masterpieces of modern Arab and Iranian art, as well as works by eminent artists form the African continent including El Anatsui and the emotive paintings of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye — underlining growing regional interest in art from Africa. 

The exhibition is the first curated by Christie’s new management in the region. 




Hazem Harb, “Hollyland.” (Supplied)

“Creating and expanding a global platform for the appreciation and sale of artworks from the Middle East has been a key objective for Christie’s since 2005, and we are bringing some stellar sale highlights to the region,” said the new deputy chairman of Christie’s Middle East, Dr. Ridha Moumni, in a statement. 

“We have clients that purchase so differently that creating a Middle Eastern art sale is challenging; we don’t want to be replicating works from before and want to provide an offering that shows what clients want to purchase now,” Meagan Kelly Horsman, the new regional managing director, told Arab News.

A case in point would be Saudi artist Ahmed Mater’s famous “Evolution of Man” (2010), which examines the Kingdom’s rapid growth since the discovery of oil in 1938. It is expected to sell for between $28-35,000. 




Kamal Boullata, “Angelus II-1.” (Supplied)

There’s also “Angelus II-1” a poignant abstract work from 2017, consisting of a series of colorful crisscrossing lines by the late Palestinian painter and art historian Kamal Boullata, estimated at $28-40,000, as well as a rare piece by Iraqi painter Dia Azzawi — 1970’s “Colored Letters” — estimated at $34-45,000.

One of the most expensive works on show is “Broken Land” (2015) by New York-based Iranian painter Ali Banisadr. Constructed in his signature rhythmic, abstract style, an intense sense of motion — and emotion — is immediately conveyed by his sea of figures and objects in scenes hardly recognizable to the viewer.

Among the African works on display is Ibrahim El-Salahi’s “The Tree” (2003) — an abstract geometric composition that is part of a series referencing the Haraz tree native to his homeland of Sudan. Born in Sudan in 1930, El-Salahi is one of the most important living African artists and a central figure in the development of African Modernism. His work is currently being shown in the main exhibition of “The Milk of Dreams” at the 59th Venice Biennale. 




Monir Farmanfarmaian, “Mirror Ball.” (Supplied)

There’s also a 1997 image by Nigerian photographer Samuel Fosso called “The Chief: The One Who Sold Africa To The Colonists,” estimated at $17-23,000, and from Robert Devereux’s Sina Jina Collection there’s El Anatsui’s 2002 acrylic on carved woodwork “Drying Line” (estimated at £68-91,000) and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s “Magic” (2007), a series of three oil paintings going for $171-228,000.

“Devereux is known as an early supporter of African art and his collection showcases a broad offering of art from the continent,” Isabel Miller, a specialist in post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s London, told Arab News. 




Samuel Fosso, “The Chief - The One Who Sold Africa To The Colonists.” (Supplied)

Devereux’s collection, which is the largest single owner collection of African contemporary art to come to the market, will be sold in a single-owner sale on Oct 13 in London. 

“Collecting tastes in the region are more international now than regional,” said Suzy Sikorski, a specialist at Christie’s Middle East. “Even collectors that originally started collecting from this region are now branching out into African and international art.”


Dance group Mayyas to perform in Beirut after ‘America’s Got Talent’ win

Dance group Mayyas to perform in Beirut after ‘America’s Got Talent’ win
Updated 30 September 2022

Dance group Mayyas to perform in Beirut after ‘America’s Got Talent’ win

Dance group Mayyas to perform in Beirut after ‘America’s Got Talent’ win
  • Crew ecstatic over ‘dream’ prize, says choreographer Nadim Cherfan
  • Artists will showcase their gifts at the US embassy this weekend

DUBAI: Lebanese dance crew Mayyas are set to perform for the first time since winning “America’s Got Talent” at the US embassy in Beirut this weekend.

The embassy will also host a virtual meet-the-artist session which will be released on Oct. 1 on YouTube.

“I am very happy that Mayyas will do a collaboration with the US embassy,” the crew’s choreographer Nadim Cherfan said in a video shared on the embassy’s Twitter page.

Earlier this month, the group took home the $1 million grand prize after winning the show.

“We can’t believe what’s happening,” group member Marcel Assal told Arab News after the show. “We can’t believe what we’ve achieved — giving so much energy, leaving our work and education, dedicating our time to training every day to be here to represent our country, and this is what we were looking for.

“We were very stressed out by the fact that we had to (prepare the dance) in two to three days, but when we went up on stage and heard the cheers, the audience gave us a push and an adrenaline rush that wasn’t there and we did it,” added Assal.

Cherfan said: “This win gave me an opportunity to dream again. When you have a dream and you achieve it, you start to look for another dream. So I’m very happy that there is something to look forward to now — something to dream of, something to fight for.”


Arab models Gigi, Bella Hadid grace the runway for French label Isabel Marant in Paris 

Arab models Gigi, Bella Hadid grace the runway for French label Isabel Marant in Paris 
Updated 30 September 2022

Arab models Gigi, Bella Hadid grace the runway for French label Isabel Marant in Paris 

Arab models Gigi, Bella Hadid grace the runway for French label Isabel Marant in Paris 

DUBAI: Dutch Palestinian models Gigi and Bella Hadid have had a fashion-packed month, from Milan to Paris Fashion Week. 

This week, the sisters modeled for Isabel Marant wearing the French label’s spring-summer 2023 collection.  

Gigi strutted down the runway in an oversized cameo-print jacket in neutral hues. 

Bella wore two outfits. The first featured a white cut-out top embellished with silver studs, white pants, stilettos and a handbag.

The second look was a black flowy mini dress with cut-out detailing across the chest, which the model styled with a tasseled bag casually slung on her shoulder. 

The fashion show featured an array of unique outfits — including sheer tops, oversized jumpers, floral dresses, jeans and crochet items — which British Moroccan model Nora Attal championed. 

Attal wore a yacht-perfect crochet bodysuit and a matching bag with fringe detailing.

French Algerian catwalk star Loli Bahia was also part of the star-studded show.

Bella wore a white cut-out top embellished with silver studs, white pants, stilettos and a handbag. (AFP)

She put on an eye-catching display in an outfit similar to Bella’s all-white look, sporting leather trousers and a cut-out red top.

Bahia also wore reflective silver pants with a white chiffon top featuring a sleeveless neckline. 

The part-Arab models all opted for loose hair with natural make-up looks in a bronze pallet. 

Another star-studded event at Paris Fashion Week was French jewelry label Messika’s show, which was inspired by ancient Egypt.

Bahia wore leather trousers and a cut-out red top. (AFP)

Supermodel Naomi Campbell opened the runway on Thursday wearing the new Akh-Ba-Ka set, which was designed by Valérie Messika and is part of the brand’s new jewelry collection titled “Beyond the Light.”

The necklace, which Italian Moroccan model Malika El-Maslouhi wore in the campaign images, is made of white gold with 15 diamonds totaling 71 carats. The entire set is composed of a pair of asymmetrical earrings and a transformable ring that can be worn in three different ways.

Among the guests who watched the show were Gigi, Lebanese singer Maya Diab, Saudi TV presenter Lojain Omran, Egyptian actresses Mai Omar and Enjy Kiwan and Lebanese presenter Diala Makki.


Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai questions lack of Muslim representation in Hollywood

Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai questions lack of Muslim representation in Hollywood
Updated 30 September 2022

Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai questions lack of Muslim representation in Hollywood

Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai questions lack of Muslim representation in Hollywood

DUBAI: Pakistani activist and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai addressed the lack of Muslim representation in Hollywood films during Variety’s recent Power of Women event in the US.

Yousafzai, who was honored at the event, said: “I’ve been doing activism for more than a decade now, and I’ve realized that we shouldn’t limit activism to the work of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) only: There’s also the element of changing people’s minds and perspectives — and that requires a bit more work.”

The 25-year-old, in her new role as a content producer, pointed out that despite Muslims making up 25 percent of the population, there was “only 1 percent of characters in popular TV series.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Malala (@malala)

Addressing A-list guests including American politician Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea, US actress Elizabeth Olsen, talk show host Oprah Winfrey, and the American former actress, and wife of British Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, she added: “You’re often told in Hollywood, implicitly or explicitly, that the characters are too young, too brown, or too Muslim, or that if one show about a person of color is made, then that’s it — you don’t need to make another one. That needs to change.

“I’m a woman, a Muslim, a Pashtun, a Pakistani, and a person of color. And I watched ‘Succession,’ ‘Ted Lasso,’ and ‘Severance,’ where the leads are white people — and especially a lot of white men.

“If we can watch those shows, then I think audiences should be able to watch shows that are made by people of color, and produced and directed by people of color, with people of color in the lead. That is possible, and I’m going to make it happen,” Yousafzai said.
 


Rapper Post Malone to perform in the UAE in December

Rapper Post Malone to perform in the UAE in December
Updated 30 September 2022

Rapper Post Malone to perform in the UAE in December

Rapper Post Malone to perform in the UAE in December

DUBAI: Nine-time Grammy Award nominee Post Malone is set to perform on Dec. 3 at Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Park in celebration of the UAE’s National Day.

The rapper, who sold 95 million singles and 13 million albums in the US alone, is expected to sing a selection of hits from his catalogue, including “Rockstar,” “Psycho,” “Sunflower” and “Better Now,” as well as new tracks from his latest album “Twelve Carat Toothache.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @postmalone

“I’m excited to be returning to Abu Dhabi and performing for the incredible audience there again,” said Malone, whose real name is Austin Richard Post, in a released statement. “The crowd for my last show there were electric and I can’t wait to take to the stage and perform for my fans in the Middle East. Together, we’re going to enjoy a fantastic weekend.”

The 27-year-old singing sensation performed in Abu Dhabi in 2018 for the Formula 1 Yasalam After-Race concerts.

Malone, who is the eighth best-selling digital artist of all time, rose to fame for his unique blend of hip hop, pop, R&B and trap genres and subgenres.


REVIEW: ‘Andor’ might test ‘Star Wars’ fans patience, but it could just be worth it

REVIEW: ‘Andor’ might test ‘Star Wars’ fans patience, but it could just be worth it
Updated 30 September 2022

REVIEW: ‘Andor’ might test ‘Star Wars’ fans patience, but it could just be worth it

REVIEW: ‘Andor’ might test ‘Star Wars’ fans patience, but it could just be worth it
  • New show is short on lightsabers and spaceships, but big on color and atmosphere

LONDON: For all the “Star Wars” universe’s recent movie missteps, its TV storytelling has never been in a better place — recent shows such as “The Mandalorian,” “Visions” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi” have been some of the most enjoyable material to slot into the galaxy far, far away since George Lucas originally put pen to paper in the 1970s.

But that comes with an added layer of pressure too, like that hanging over “Andor” — the latest show to be added to the growing pantheon of “Star Wars” small-screen entries. The series is a prequel to a prequel, in fact: “Andor” charts the origins of Cassian Andor, the (then) haunted Rebel soldier who sacrificed his life to help steal the plans to the Empire’s first Death Star in “Rogue One.”

In “Andor”, Cassian — played again by Diego Luna — is a wayward soul, angry at the universe for reasons (presumably) yet to be revealed, and desperate to find a way to fight back against the growing tyranny sweeping across the galaxy. That is, until he meets Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), a member of the Rebel Alliance who believes that Cassian may be a key addition to the burgeoning resistance.

Of the first three episodes, there’s little more to say than that, largely because “Andor” is redefining the notion of a slowbuild show. We’re treated to flashes of Cassian’s youth, and reasons why he hates the Empire so much, and we learn about his life on the planet Ferrix, which finds itself under the heel of an authoritarian regime in a drawn-out introduction that has little action. 

But what we do get is the “Star Wars” universe painted in detail more intricate than we’ve seen before. There are no Jedi, no sprawling space battles or (cough) trade disputes to drive the story forward, so “Andor” treats us to a gritty, realistic look at what it might actually be like to live in this fantastical universe. 

For “Star Wars” fans, it’s a wonderful tour through a level of minutiae never glimpsed before in live action. And while the lack of fireworks early on might deter casual viewers, or those not familiar with the franchise, that level of expectation that surrounds new “Star Wars” outlets will probably be enough to buy the show the time to realize its true potential.