Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Artists, don't be afraid to show us your rough draft

Sketchart group exhibition Desert Designs art gallery Khobar blog

All artists keep a sketchpad to illustrate ideas and to practice drawing. The "Sketchat" group art exhibition said it would give me a peek into this world.


I'd say this statement was a bit misleading. I thought that the participating artists would offer actual pieces of art from their sketchpads so that we could see unfinished works and ideas. One of my favourite paintings of all time is Picasso's Woman in Mantilla or La Salchichona, I have a poster of it hanging on my door. The painting is different from Picasso's works of art that we're familiar with. It was created in 1917 and doesn't fit into any of his defined periods. It's not cubist nor surreal, it's a portrait of a woman made from a style of pointillism using broader and more widely spaced strokes with the original outlines showing. I love that it gives viewers an insight into his creative process and I love that it's unfinished. It shows the human side of the artist and it brings up a lot of questions too. Why didn't he finish the artwork? What did this woman mean to him? It's a compelling piece because we don't have such answers.

Now I wasn't expecting any of the artists at the exhibition to be Picassos, but I expected to see sketches that were exercises in certain ways of painting or drawing art, especially from contributor Noorah Kareem, who posts daily sketches on her Instagram account from her sketchpad. While I understood from contributor Ali Hussain's story that his pieces were sketches, the rest were full on finished works of art. And I will always love Hussain Ismail's artwork, but what do his first drafts look like? I don't know. Maybe the gallery should have just said the exhibition was made of artwork inspired by the artist's personal sketches.

Ahmed Anan


Miniature 1 Ahmed Anan Sketchat group exhibition Al-Khobar blog
"Miniature 1"
Wish Ahmed Anan Sketchat group exhibition Saudi Arabia blog
"Wish"

Noorah Kareem

Unpolished Noorah Kareem Sketchat group exhibition Khobar blog
"Unpolished"

Tagreed Al Bagshi

Tagreed Al Bagshi Sketchat group exhibition Desert Designs blog

Tagreed Al Bagshi Sketchat group exhibition Desert Designs blogTagreed Al Bagshi Sketchat group exhibition Desert Designs blog

Ali Hussain Mirza

He had all of his sketches attached with clothespins to a twine string suspended between pillars in the gallery. It was a really great way to showcase his work as you had to interact with the display to see all of his art.

Ali Hussain Mirza Sketchat group exhibition Desert Designs blog
Apparently when he was contacted for this show he was on the subway and he drew all of this submissions there!

Ali Hussain Mirza Sketchat group exhibition Desert Designs blog
The faces of these figures remind me of No-Face from Spirited Away and their hands of the monster from Babadook.
Mariam Bukhamsin Alive Love Sketchat group exhibition Saudi blog
"Alive Love"

Mariam Bukhamsin Him 1 Sketchat group exhibition Al-Khobar blog
"Him 1." The fact that she was able to exhibit artwork depicting a woman's figure is amazing!

Hussain Ismail Sketchat group exhibition Khobar Saudi Arabia blog
The text reads, "Mom...! Are we Shi'a or Sunni?"

Hussain Ismail Glance Sketchat group exhibition Khobar Saudi blog
"Glance." Ismail says he was inspired by seeing a woman and a man glance at each other in the food court of a shopping mall. This is often the only interaction before marriage that unrelated men and women have here in this country. 
Hussain Ismail Affection Sketchat group exhibition Al-Khobar blog
"Affection"
Hussain Ismail "Date" Sketchat group exhibition Al-Khobar blog
"Date." All of Ismail's pieces are priced at SR650-700, except for this one which is priced at SR1,500 because he doesn't want to sell it. It depicts his fiancee and him on a date!
Hussain Ismail "Mercury" Sketchat group exhibition Al-Khobar blog
"Mercury." This piece is based off of a 2009 rumour that Singer sewing machines in kingdom contained the powerful but nonexistent "red mercury" substance. People flocked to markets to sell their old machines for up to SR200,000.
Hussain Ismail I love you bed Sketchat group exhibition Khobar blog
"I love you bed"
Hussain Ismail "The Roundabout" Sketchat group exhibition blog
"The Roundabout." This is based off of an event which occurred in the early morning of May 8. Residents of the town of Al Ahsa were surprised to find that the "12 Imams Roundabout"'s columns were being removed. They had unofficially been calling it that because the Shia, which a majority of the residents are, believe in 12 imams of the prophet's sons. The Saudi government has been suppressing protests by Shia adherents since the Arab Spring and before. 

The exhibition will close on May 24.

3 comments:

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    1. Thanks Fahad! Sorry for the late reply :/

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