The Rising Stars in the Art World
The sun beats down on the Arabian desert’s sand dunes, giving a pleasant glow on the bustling city of Dubai. A bustling art culture thrives in the heart of this metropolis, with artists from across the Middle East making their mark on the global stage. They are the visionaries and dreamers, the storytellers and poets who weave their narratives via the medium of art.
We are taken to a universe of unlimited possibilities when we immerse ourselves in the world of modern art, where artists constantly push the boundaries of what we thought was possible. The Middle East is a distinct cultural setting in which ancient traditions coexist with modernity, and the works created by artists here appeal to the soul while transcending language and borders. Every brushstroke and colour choice reflect the artist’s deepest thoughts and feelings, a testament to their limitless inventiveness and love of their trade.
Four Middle Eastern Artists Shaping the Contemporary Art Scene:
Moza Almatrooshi, Aisha Juma, Asma Belhamar, and Nujoom AlGhanem
Four remarkable artists whose work is making an influence on the worldwide art scene are Moza Almatrooshi, Aisha Juma, Asma Belhamar, and Nujoom AlGhanem. They each offer their own perspective and style to their art, having come from different corners of the Middle East.
Moza Almatrooshi, a visual artist from the UAE, frequently employs mixed media in her work. Her works address issues of identity, memory, and the human-nature interaction. Almatrooshi’s work has been shown in several exhibitions and galleries in the UAE and abroad, including Art Dubai and the Venice Biennale.
Bahraini artist Aisha Juma is noted for her brilliant and colourful abstract paintings. Her work frequently contains organic shapes and patterns, giving the impression of movement and fluidity. Juma’s art has been shown in numerous shows and galleries throughout the Middle East and Europe, and she was recently featured in the Bahraini Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
Algerian artist Asma Belhamar produces elaborate works that represent her country’s social and political challenges. Belhamar frequently incorporates everyday materials, such as plastic bags and bottles, into her work, reflecting on topics such as waste and pollution. Her work has been shown in numerous shows and galleries around Europe and the Middle East, including the Sharjah Biennial and the Art Paris Art Fair.
In her work, Nujoom AlGhanem, a poet and filmmaker from the United Arab Emirates, frequently examines themes of identity, memory, and cultural legacy. Her films have screened at multiple international film festivals, and she has won numerous accolades for her work. AlGhanem is also a talented poet, having had several collections published.
As these great artists make their imprint on the global art scene, their work serves as a reminder of the Middle East’s beauty and diversity, as well as the relevance of art in overcoming cultural boundaries.
Exploring Form and Fluidity in Inner and External Realms:
Three Gulf-Based Artists at Art Dubai 2023
Art Dubai 2023 included the works of three Gulf-based artists that investigate the ideas of form and fluidity in both inner and outside realms. Through their artwork, Nasser Almulhim, Ziad Al Najjar, and Hashel Al Lamki each expressed their distinct perspectives.
Hashel Al Lamki, an Emirati painter and multidisciplinary artist, explores the relationship between humanity and nature via the use of natural pigments on canvas. His paintings depict an imagined trip from day to night across Al Ain’s mountain range, with expressive strokes and a luminescent palette creating a surreal quality.
Ziad Al Najjar infuses his works with natural world symbolism and influences, investigating the juxtaposition between organic and inorganic forms. Al Najjar’s delicate and organic forms, some figurative and some abstract, provide a unique interplay between the past and present, drawing influence from Islamic miniatures and his own life experiences.
Nasser Almulhim, a Saudi Arabian painter and 3D artist, makes works that explore the combination of geometric and organic shapes, as well as its relationship to the human psyche. As he takes a creative and intuitive approach to art-making, his creations serve as a therapeutic act that opens the door to self-healing.
Together, these three artists demonstrated the breadth and depth of artistic ability in the Gulf region, showing the distinct viewpoints and styles that make their work so compelling and inspiring.
Along with the artists represented at Art Dubai 2023, we must recognise the enormous contributions of Middle Eastern artists who are defining the current art scene. Their works, which range from identity and memory to social and political challenges, both challenge and encourage us to perceive the world in new ways. As the artistic community in the Gulf and beyond continues to expand and evolve, we must celebrate and support these artists who are pushing limits and setting the way for future generations.
By Joelle Khouri