14 November 2010

Day 9 ---- dedicated to emerging artists

I hate the term emerging artist. Really, you have to earn that strange chestnut of a title with a lot of blood-letting, rejection, sleeplessness, organ selling, prostitution, shit jobs, brown-nosing, flirting with buyers, anguish, doubt, parental disapproval, bullshitting, self-delusion... and in the end you are flavour of the month for three minutes (the average duration of both the art world's attention span and ... well...say a champagne-imbued emerging artist's personal triumph after a well-received solo show.)
Some, like the guys at Phaidon try to nail down the zippity zeitgeist with its publication Creamier -
you can bet the minute you place it strategically on your coffee table it becomes irrelevant.
Whatever you do. Don't stop being you. Make Art. Make it interesting.

Oh yes and if you have facebook and 30 seconds to spare, vote for me to go overseas and blog for Channel V. Search for Varia. Yes, that's me in the funny hat, slightly askew.

Day 8 - Ahmed Mater, Edge of Arabia

Playing catch ups again. I tell you what, I applaud those that have the discipline to write everyday. It's new to me and I like it. Husband is in Shanghai, seeing Chinese jazz bands at the Bund, I'm waking up at 9 with a 15 week old baby and drinking coffee like one of Chekhov's provincial ladies of leisure... soon I'll be whining that I want to go to Moscow and indulge in real so-sigh-ah-tea.

Evolution of Man |  Lightbox | H79.2 CM X W59.4CM | 2010

"Saudis do not believe in the theory of evolution. Like other conservative societies, they firmly reject Darwin’s theory on the basis that humans are perfect..."

Edge of Arabia is a group of Saudi contemporary artists of which Ahmed Mater is a prominent member. Mater was born in 1979 in the traditional village of Rujal Al-Ma’a in the lush green region of Aseer (to the south of Saudi Arabia) and was raised in its capital Abha. A jack of all trades, aside from being a qualified GP, he is a curator, a landscape photographer and the face of a large telecommunications company. He is just as well-regarded at home as overseas; King Fahad has opened one of his solo shows, while in the West, The British Museum has purchased his work.
Mater's work poignantly uses medical imagery to raise questions that trouble his society like suicide and oil, the effect of consumerism on traditional life and religious identity. Pain and society's sickness are expressed through X-ray here. His colours communicate vividly; stained sepia accompanies traditional Islamic motifs and text, the language of science and x-rays is coldly blue. There seems to be a nostalgia for the 'unstained,' a yearning for the time before commercialism drove the hoards from mosques to malls. In his series, Illumination, the X-rayed people long for the impossible - for their x-rays to show their humanity. The soul is to be found in the contrast to the x-ray-   the earthy traditional materials show the chasms between the languages of science and faith, faith and logic...


Illumination (Skull) |105 x 155 cm |Offset X-Ray film print, Tea, Pomegrenate, Dupont Chinese Ink and Watercolour on Arch Archival Paper |2009