Arab Today, arab today region’s artists are ‘humans first’
Last Updated : GMT 00:15:33
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Region’s artists are ‘humans first’

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Region’s artists are ‘humans first’

Beirut - Arabstoday

A gallery isn’t just a shop where you can buy paintings. There is no shortage of spaces around Beirut (or anyplace else), where you can go to buy a piece of something to hang on a wall or set in the corner of a room. One of the things distinguishing professionally run galleries are the services they provide artists in representing them and their work in the marketplace – at auction, for instance, and international art fairs. For some years now art works from this region – whether “this region” is termed “the Middle East,” the “Arab World” or “MENASA” (Middle East North Africa and South Asia) – have become significant commodities in the oddly resilient art market. Given this resilience, it seems worthwhile to ask Beirut-area gallerists how they go about representing their artists and what changes they’ve noticed in how they and their work have been received, and perceived, abroad. Ayyam Gallery was founded in Damascus in 2006 by Syrian-born Khaled Samawi, who made his name in international banking. Ayyam has since set up sister spaces in Dubai and Beirut and apparently plans to establish more in London and New York. In promoting this region’s artistic practice, Ayyam’s initiatives include an incubator program for young artists (The Shabab Ayyam Project), a Middle Eastern art imprint (Ayyam Publishing) and Ayyam Auctions. The Ayyam galleries collect and exhibit established Syrian artists and also represent several contemporary artists from Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world working in painting, sculpture and photography. Samawi communicated his thoughts on his work to The Daily Star via email. Q: What Lebanese artists do you represent? How many of them actually live in Lebanon; how many of them live wholly or part of the year overseas? Do you represent any non-Lebanese artists? A: Ayyam Gallery represents around 25 Arab artists and we have another 25 in our incubator at any given time. We represent Nadim Karam who resides in Beirut, Pierre Koukjian who is based in Bangkok, and Walid El Masri and Asaad Arabi who live in Paris. We also promote three young Lebanese photographers who live in Beirut. We also represent artists from Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Palestine. Q: How long have you been representing Lebanese artists abroad? A: Ayyam Gallery has represented Lebanese artists abroad for five years. Q: What are some of the prominent venues that your artists have been exhibited? Presumably the more prominent the venue the more likely the work will be sold. Is this always the case? A: We have exhibited our artists in many art fairs such as Art Dubai, Abu Dhabi Art, Art Paris, Art Hong Kong, Scope Basel, as well as in the Ayyam galleries in Damascus, Beirut and Dubai. Q: Do you have any exhibitions planned for the coming year? Which artists are involved? Are these solo shows or group shows? A: We predominantly hold solo shows in our spaces while group exhibitions are held during art fairs or at the auctions we have. We will be introducing a very talented Lebanese conceptual artist/photographer in Beirut at the end of April by the name of Mohamad Badr. Accompanying the general solo exhibition program we have at the galleries in the coming year will be several auctions in Dubai and Beirut, which highlight the most talented art from the Middle East, and our participation in Art Beirut and Abu Dhabi Art Fair. Q: What’s the value of participating in international art fairs? A: Art fairs are a great place for us to study the state of the contemporary art world. It allows us to examine a variety of galleries and artists, and also allows our colleagues to examine us. It is a great barometer of where a gallery and its artists stand in the global hierarchy of the contemporary art world. Q: Do you find you make more sales at the fairs or at free-standing (solo and group) exhibitions? A: Sales are made whenever an art collector falls in love with a work. That could happen anywhere. Q: How do you decide which works by your Lebanese artists are worthy of international exhibition? A: I believe all Ayyam’s artists are worthy of international exhibitions. I believe the top Lebanese artists are as talented as their Western and Eastern counterparts and given a chance, possibly more talented. Q: Can you make any observations about what kind of art collectors are looking for nowadays? Are collectors still interested in “Arab art,” or have they become more interested in art from “Asia,” for instance? A: Collectors have always and will always look for art that moves them and speaks to them, regardless of its origin. That said, Middle Eastern art is now on the radar of global collectors so we are fighting with other regions to get our fair share of exposure. Q: Do you consider your artists to be Arab/Lebanese artists first? Or artists first? A: They are humans first. People that are artists from this region. Q: Do you think collectors consider your artists to be Arab/Lebanese artists first? Or do they consider them as artists first? A: Collectors will say, “Yes, I know Nadim. He is from Lebanon.” or “Yes, I know Safwan. He is from Syria.” So, I guess collectors are interested in the country. Q: Is it possible to generalize about the characteristics of “Lebanese” or “Arab” art that makes it distinct from work being made elsewhere in the world nowadays? A: Most Arab artists live in an environment of censorship. In order to put their message across they have to be discreet without diminishing the power of the message. The balance is what drives their creativity and distinguishes them from their Western, more open colleagues. Q: How has the market for Lebanese artists changed over the years? A: It has just been discovered in the last decade and as more great art comes out of Lebanon the market will continue to grow which benefits all.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today region’s artists are ‘humans first’ Arab Today, arab today region’s artists are ‘humans first’

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today region’s artists are ‘humans first’ Arab Today, arab today region’s artists are ‘humans first’

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Arab tradition glitters in Colombia

GMT 12:59 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Arab tradition glitters in Colombia
Arab Today, arab today Second US judge orders freeze

GMT 08:04 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Second US judge orders freeze
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Silent Republicans have their reasons

GMT 16:55 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Silent Republicans have their reasons
Arab Today, arab today Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge

GMT 11:26 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Hiring not part of Alibaba pledge
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Sidem reveals plan to improve education

GMT 15:52 2017 Friday ,06 October

Sidem reveals plan to improve education
Arab Today, arab today Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action

GMT 10:54 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Ex-French minister Dati wants tough action
Arab Today, arab today Massacre fears spark race

GMT 19:09 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Massacre fears spark race
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs

GMT 10:53 2017 Sunday ,15 October

Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs
Arab Today, arab today Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival

GMT 07:47 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Hussein Fahmy happy for honoring in festival
Arab Today, arab today Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 16:00 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Climate-disrupting volcanoes helped topple

GMT 09:31 2017 Monday ,16 October

Dalal Abdel Aziz happy for “Seventh Neighbor”

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 18:29 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Designer produced new set of ornaments

GMT 05:11 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 23:42 2017 Monday ,16 October

Better Marriages Make

GMT 06:52 2017 Monday ,16 October

Airbus CEO says won't cling to job

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 20:46 2017 Thursday ,19 October

Qualcomm files lawsuits in China to ban iPhones

GMT 19:29 2017 Tuesday ,29 August

Yomna: decoration leaved positive effects
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday