It is clear to recognize the world’s interest in Middle Eastern art in recent years, but what was a surprise to most is the rise of great talents from Saudi Arabia (the existence of Edge of Arabia is solid proof of that). One new talent on the rise is Saudi artist, AbdulAziz Al Qahtani with his first solo exhibition at Lahd Gallery in London (Lahd Gallery has been founded 2005 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and recently moved to London’s Hampstead).
It is clear, just from the first photo the type of controversy this exhibition have caused, all in the name of not only self-expression but stating the reality as seen through the artist’s eyes. “Us middle easterners have been misunderstood by the west, and are also being suppressed within our regions.” Said Qahtani, also adding to that, the message his photography contains: “showing the true human side of modern Middle Eastern society and their interactions with daily life.”
“In a never-revealed-before exposé of social taboos, Al Qahtani will show a series of 11 taboo inspired photographs for the very first time in London and the exhibition promises to be an exciting exploration of taboos in contemporary Middle Eastern society.
Employing a broad spectrum of captivating visuals, Al Qahtani illustrates the relationship and interaction between Middle Eastern women and Western societies. The categorisation of taboos will be challenged and any such boundaries broken down. We all know that taboos are society’s way of labeling and informing, and how often they are used to conceal an underlying truth. Even when contemporary standards of social decorum are brought into question, any such categorisation is futile as societies are not static, but rather fluid across time and space.
AbdulAziz Al Qahtani: An Intimate Geography shows why taboos may in fact be the only way for us to learn and rediscover our true human nature.”
Abdulaziz Al Qahtani lives and works in London. Besides visual art and photography, he devotes his time to fashion design. He often draws inspiration from Helmut Newton, Touko Laaksonen, Herb Ritts and Eduard Grau.
For more information on the exhibition, please visit Lahd Gallery. Exhibition on view from 2nd December 2010 to 19th January 2011.