Monday, July 15, 2024

“Arab Art Exhibition”…between madness and hope


A place of colors created by the “Arab Art Exhibition” between November 2 and 5 in Beirut. In light of the bloody developments in the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon, away from the daily anxiety and fear of a war, he takes the city on a creative journey. The exhibition is a resting place for peaceful people who carry only feathers as weapons and aim only at the white board.

Farhad Farhad, the founder and director of the exhibition, does not deny that continuing this activity is like “crazy”, but he decided to raise the slogan “Don’t despair”, while the official slogan of this year’s exhibition is “Hope”. Lebanon and that life must go on.

The exhibition carries the slogan “Hope and life must go on in Lebanon” (Instagram).

“Art is common to all”

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsad, Farhad said that the “Arab Art Exhibition” in its third edition is not only painting, but also sculpture, photography, Arabic calligraphy, digital and installation art or assembly.

More than 35 exhibitors from Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, Syria and Lebanon are participating. The exhibition is being held at the Coral Beach Hotel in Beirut. 7 artists from Gaza were unable to attend this elaborate art event. , but the war prevented them from attending.

Farahat expresses hope that the circle of participating artists will expand to include all Arab countries in the coming years. While waiting, the exhibition maintains its main cause, which is titled “Art for All”. The founder explains that the idea was launched in 2019 from the principle that “art is not limited to a certain social class, and is not limited to those who have the financial ability to acquire works of art.”

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More than 35 artists from many Arab countries are participating in the exhibition (Facebook)

From this standpoint, the “Arab Art Fair” opens its doors to all, young and old, without the usual entry fee of art fairs around the world. , people who don’t normally think that… buy a painting or a sculpture, that’s what does it. However, these thoughtful prices do not mean that the innovations are of poor quality.

In this context, Farahat explains, “there is a special committee that selects works approved to participate in the exhibition, all of which are new and have not been shown before.” He ensures that everything shown falls into the professional category, whether the artist’s name is well-known or from the rising generation. Knowing that the committee ensures that only deserving artists and those with exceptional talent are selected to exhibit their inventions.

There is no entry fee for the exhibition on the premise that art should be accessible to all (Facebook).

An academic and educational dimension

The second message conveyed by this exhibition is excellence in education. The exhibition bubbles open to school and university students. Being an educational foundation organization specializing in educational issues, exhibitions and forums since 2014, one of the primary goals is to bring art closer to students with the aim of educating them. Farhat points out that “invitations to visit school and university students are sent, not from a business perspective, but from an educational standpoint.”

In addition to paintings that differ between contemporary and classic and other art exhibitions, the Arab Art Exhibition includes a group of workshops and seminars attended by experts. As for the symposia of this edition of the exhibition, there are four. The first deals with the relationship between art and media, and “Where is the Arab media in terms of culture and the arts?” begs the question. Where they are assigned to cultural and artistic matters by the media organizations they work for, they discuss them.

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The second symposium focuses on the collection and acquisition of works of art (“art collecting”), and it attempts to discover the reasons behind this hobby, which often turns into a hobby. Symposium guests will also talk about their own experiences investing in the arts during financial crises.

Activities of the exhibition include 4 seminars covering various cultural and art files (Facebook)

The third seminar will discuss the close relationship between the arts and education and the role of the arts in developing students’ skills. The fourth symposium deals with the art of icons.

between tunnels and against the current

Since its launch in 2019, the “Arab Art Exhibition” has been going on between mines, surrounded by the Corona epidemic, then the economic collapse in Lebanon and the bombing of the port of Beirut, and now together with the current security tensions, to find itself, this time, against the tide. Exhibition curators say: “In this East, there are two ways: either surrender or conflict. At the Arab Art Fair, we decided to confront art, culture and creativity so that life goes on.

But who would think of buying works of art under such conditions? A clear question is posed to the organizers, and the answer comes from Farhat: “In times of crisis, investing in art is a very wise idea… Anyone who buys an art painting is like buying gold or an expensive carpet. According to studies, purchases increase during times of crisis. Farhad explains, “The Arab Art Fair offers a commission to the buyer, and guarantees that the work is original.”

Investment in art increases during financial crises, according to exhibition organizers (Facebook)

For independent exhibiting artists, the exhibition represents an opportunity for them to build relationships with gallery owners and art collectors, which opens up many opportunities for them.

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The director of the “Arab Art Fair” wants to see only the side of hope, and he says, “Despite the continuous crises in Lebanon, it still includes many active art houses, not to mention countless art lovers. This is enough to keep hope from ending.”

Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
"Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic."

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