Last Wednesday evening marked the return of the Hollywood Road Arts Club this fall! We were treated with a special visit of the first major solo exhibition of work by Saudi Arabian artist Abdulnasser Gharem shown at the Edge of Arabia in partnership with Ayyam Gallery.
Journalist, lecturer, and author Henry Hemming walked us through the exhibition and shared with us Abdulnasser’s story, his role in shaping the Saudi Arabian market today and inspiring today’s generation of artists.
Abdulnasser became the the most significant Saudi artist of his generation and the highest selling Arab artist during an auction in 2008 when his installation ‘Message/Messenger’ sold for a world record price at auction in Dubai. Gharem donated the proceeds of this sale to Edge of Arabia to foster art education in his native country. He has since become an avid and passionate spokesman for artistic expression in Saudi Arabia, a country where freedom of expression is often censored. What is even more intriguing is the artist’s parallel career as a General in the Saudi Arabian army. The stamp, as pictured below, has become a reoccurring theme in his work. To read more about Gharem’s ‘unusual double life’, the FT wrote a enlightening piece which can be read here:
Image of the exhibition where the stamp features prominently for its symbolic importance in every day Saudi Arabian life.
Portrait of the Artist from the Performance Flora and Fauna, 2007, Digital print on limited arch archival Giclee Da Vinci paper, H60 x W85cm.