RIYADH: The Athr Foundation has launched the largest exhibition of young Saudi artists to date, featuring 25 emerging artists at Ethr Residency, Diriyah.
Launched recently, the eighth YSA exhibition, which will run until March 18, 2024, explores the theme “on purpose” and presents a diverse range of artworks showcasing the Kingdom’s young artistic talents.
Artist Zahiyah Alraddadi presents a moving work titled “Numb,” a painting that shows a person sitting in darkness, reflecting their struggle with anxiety.
Alraddadi has been working on her oil painting for three years to capture her emotional fragility in the most authentic way possible.
She said: “I quit art several times. I had to change my approach and make art without thinking too much. When a self-sabotaging thought tries to drag me down, I let the feelings come, but I don’t let them stop me.
Eventually, Alraddadi stopped erasing his paintings and started painting them over, symbolizing his acceptance.
She said: “From there I tried to build on each layer, until at some point maybe I love what I do. »
Artist Yusef Fageeh presents three works titled “Electric Series, Triptych,” a collection of hyperrealistic paintings of electrical boxes, inspired by the power outages that occurred during the recent Florida hurricane.
In a world dependent on electricity, Fageeh’s works highlight the overlooked importance of the energy source and how disruptive outages can be.
Speaking about the thought process behind the paintings, he said: “The electricity went out while I was painting these electrical boxes. That kind of led me to think that this needed to go further. I started trying to find the images that seemed best suited to this project. The work is about community and the things in our community that unknowingly unite us.
The work is about community and the things in our community that unknowingly unite us.
Yusef FageehSaudi artist
Using photographic references and with meticulous attention to detail, Fageeh produces near-perfect work.
His artistic technique relies on the use of adventurous color combinations to manipulate the situation of the painting.
“What’s interesting about the painting process itself is painting the bricks, because I paint them one by one, and every time I paint a new brick, I mix a new color on my palette from from zero. At that point, you enter a strange hypnotic state, just painting brick after brick after brick. Sometimes it’s frustrating, sometimes it’s meditative.
Saudi artist Latifa Al-Bokhari’s work titled “To Care and Be Cared For” shows a linen sofa with two body outlines.
“I created my artwork by designing the sofa and then applying cyanotype, which is a material sensitive to UV rays from the sun. Then the next step is to have my best friend and I sit on the couch and print it together,” she said.
Al-Bokhari said she wanted to create something that reflected the special moments spent in safe spaces.
“What inspired me were the experiences I had and felt within my community, my friends, and the feeling of being loved in the safe spaces I encountered in my life. I wanted to reflect this in a work of art.
The exhibition is curated by renowned artist Rami Farook and a selection committee consisting of Ayman Yossri Daydban, Dur Kattan, Wejdan Reda, Hamza Serafi and Solafa Rawas.
Farook said he draws inspiration from reading and trying to find his purpose.
“A lot of people are going through the same thing, especially artists, so I thought this would be an opportunity for them to explore the topic for themselves and for us to engage with the community about it.” Just seeing the term ‘objective’ will activate it and make some people think about it,” he said.
The foundation’s exhibition aims to empower emerging Saudi artists by collaborating with curators and exhibition specialists to support their creative potential to strengthen the Kingdom’s creative market.
For more details, visit athrfoundation.org.