What Motivates Art Crimes?


MutualArt published an interesting investigation about galleries and museum theft and found out three significant crimes in museums took place last May alone! Investigating the evidence to understand “what motivates art crime?” Click below link to answer the question:


Silvador Dali’s (DESIGN FOR THE POSTER OF DON JUAN TENORIO) is one of famous thefts from Venus Over Manhattan gallery, NYC


Mark Your Calendar for July

Galerie Janine Rubiez

What: “Beyrouth, Photographies from 1973 – 2012″ a photography exhibition for Lebanese artist Jean Pierre Watchi who takes you on a journey to Beirut city from the 70s until today the way he views it. All images are fragmented “they don’t tell a story, they don’t have theme. The are only the continuation of my passage… and indicate my interest in shapes and colors crossing my way” Jean Pierre Watchi.

When: July 4th – 28th 2012.

Where:  Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut.

Ayyam Gallery

Oussama Diab ‘Contrast’. Mixed Media on Canvas

What: ‘Melting Pot’ an exhibition featuring a selection of work by some of the Arab world’s most exciting artistic talents. Showcasing five of the most promising emerging and mid-career abstract and figurative painters from Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, this exhibition will provide an overview of the new wave of contemporary Arab painting presently produced throughout the Middle East and the Diaspora. Participating artists are: Abdul Karim Majdal Al-Beik, Walid El Masri, Elias Izoli, Oussama Diab and Hilda Hiary.

When: From July 4 – 31, 2012

Where: Ayyam Gallery, Beirut.

Hosfelt Gallery New York

What: “SEMI-PERMEABLE” is a group exhibition addresses the porous nature of identity and reality where artists in this exhibition in some way expose the holes, gaps, penetrations, mutations, infusions, and interconnections between the self and the phenomenon we call reality. Participating artists are: Janine Antoni, Julie Chang, Jay DeFeo, Luka Fineisen, Jutta Haeckel, Tim Hawkinson, Baseera Khan, Byron Kim, Naomie Kremer, Stefan Kürten, Crystal Liu, Emil Lukas, John O’Reilly, Driss Ouadahi and Shahzia Sikander.

When: June 29 June – 17 August 2012

Where: Hosfelt Gallery New York. USA

Stay throughout the month as MarkYourCalendar is updated daily!


Safwan Dahoul Reveals His Latest “Dreams”

Safwan Dahoul. Medium: Acrylic on Canvas. 180x220cm

New artwork by Syrian artist Safwan Dahoul was revealed yesterday with a new, deeper and meaningful twist in the series.


Safwan Dahoul. Medium: Acrylic on Canvas. 180x220cm


The artwork shows two figures, appears to be a woman and a man, eyes closed but one of them is in a messy paper that seems to be pealing out of the scene, or dispatching itself from reality, preparing to be “no longer there” and all is happening while the other person is asleep, unaware of what is going on. This “unconcious” seperation can happen between our past, present & future; or an inner conflict that results a seperation of the old and new person, or a seperation between two people. I say “conflict” because it’s reflected in the messy cluttered paper, it is a forced seperation, one part doesn’t want it to happen and it is hard to let go.

The new artwork by Safwan Dahoul will be exhibited later this year.


About Safwan Dahoul

Born in Hama, Syria in 1961, Safwan Dahoul is among the highest grossing Middle Eastern artists to date with record-breaking auction sales and blockbuster shows that have made his paintings popular with regional and international collectors alike.

After graduating from the Faculty of Fines Arts in Damascus at the top of his class in 1983, Dahoul went on to receive a scholarship to study abroad from the Ministry of Higher Education in 1987. Choosing to travel to Belgium due to its rich artistic heritage, particularly its 16th century Flemish school of painting, he obtained a doctorate from the Higher Institute of Plastic Arts in Mons in 1997.  Since then he has participated in international art fairs and individual and collective exhibitions throughout the Middle East, Europe and the US.

As Dahoul’s art is undeterred by national borders, his painting-style is inspired by a vast range of art history including ancient Assyrian and Pharaonic art, and European masters, such as Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegal the Elder. Elements of international Modernism and Post-war painting such as the Cubist inspired monumentality of Picasso and the sociopolitical foreboding of Francis Bacon can also be detected. Yet the Syrian artist’s canvases demonstrate a profound originality, namely with the formation of his aesthetic through the detailed exploration of a reoccurring female subject in his widely-recognized “Dream” series, a continuous body of work that has evolved since 1982.



Dream To Be On Top of Burj Khalifa?!

Burj Khalifa (From: http://designaspolitics.wordpress.com)

The Ara Gallery and At the Top, Burj Khalifa are giving one amazing Emirati artist the chance to display their artwork on a featured wall in At the Top, Burj Khalifa!
From the portfolios received, five finalists will be chosen who will each create an original artwork inspired by the competition’s theme: “What does Burj Khalifa mean to you?”. Of the five finalists’ artworks, only one artist and artwork will be chosen to become a part of At The Top, Burj Khalifa!
Competition Schedule:

  • July 15 – deadline to submit your portfolio (5MB max) to artatthetop@thearagallery.ae
  • July 19 – five finalists to be announced
  • September 6 – finalist artwork deadline
  • September 17 – competition winner to be announced

Please Note: The “Art At The Top” competition is open to UAE Nationals only.

Artworks Inside Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa (From: http://designaspolitics.wordpress.com)
Interior Art in Burj Khalifa (From: http://archichoong.blogspot.com)

Over 1,000 pieces of art from prominent Middle Eastern and international artists will adorn Burj Khalifa and the surrounding Emaar Boulevard. Many of the pieces were specially commissioned by Emaar to be a tribute to the spirit of global harmony. The pieces were selected as a means of linking cultures and communities, symbolic of Burj Khalifa being an international collaboration.

Artwork inside Burj Khalifa (From: lazypalace.com)
Interior inside Burj Khalifa (From: http://www.leighhowells.com)


‘Beirut II’ Reveals the Unseen Beirut!


Details of our lives we don’t usually pay attention to it, an everyday scene happening in front of us and we are too busy to notice it. It could be the shape of the moon, the grocery shop nextdoor, the side chats, the man who works in the bakery, the child passing near our cars, the tree you see when you open the window … Or maybe memories & emotions kept inside and you forgot about them, yet something suddenly happens and triggers the forgotten box of feelings, thoughts, memories. When that happens, you find yourself paying attentions to details, events and people surrounding you and the discoverings will fascinate you.

Beirut, a city that fascinated 13 lebanese artists with its details, events and people. They captured their discoverings in photographs, installations and video art and presented it in group exhibition (Beirut II) which was exhibited last summer at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna – Austria. Today, Contemporary Art Platform brought (Beirut II) to Kuwait, a show that will take you to the unseen Beirut and a journey to various artists minds!

The Lebanese capital, which is often described as “the Paris of the Middle East,” is a city characterized by repeated destruction, restructuring, and reconstruction in social, economic, and historical terms and evincing a complex dynamic that may definitely be regarded as unique. The city’s special charm and its unmistakable appeal are fueled by the diversity of its population, which comprises almost twenty different religious and ethnic groups. Feudal thinking, hierarchies, and overlapping affiliations to various social groups and diverse family clans are of great importance in Lebanon: they determine the country’s socioeconomic stratification and social interactions.

These influences also come to bear on the protagonists of cultural life who find their source of inspiration in this complexity and embark on critical reflections on this fragile balance of powers. Rania Stephan provides an example for this: marginalized urbanites are given a chance to speak their mind and questioned about their living conditions and dreams in her documentary-like video works.

Within this complex social mosaic, many Lebanese artists and intellectuals are, after countless conflicts, still committed to a sociocritical concept of art today; this understanding is bound to a milieu of tolerance and exchange and, stylistically speaking, enters a symbiosis with the narrative tradition, that brings back memories of the city’s prewar grandeur. As the video installation Réminiscences Beyrouthines directed by Bariaa Mourad, showing textual memory fragments by Najla Said, daughter of renowned cultural theorist Edward, in an ambivalent and polysemic atmosphere together with Tanya Traboulsi’s oneiric video-photography and a sound design by Edwin Daou. A work that evokes the memories of civil war and emigration so typical for the generation of Lebanese born between the 50s and 70s. Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige asked former political prisoners how it was possible to survive through vernacular art, in an environment of sheer injustice and human-rights-defying extreme situations – as described in their documentary film Khiam.

Randa Mirza “Pigeon’s Rock” 2003

Besides exploring various social conflicts, the shown works deal with both the facets of the artists’ identities and the identity of a nation devastated by war constituting itself in a permanent dance on a volcano, epitomized in the virility of cliff divers jumping off Pigeons Rock in Randa Mirza’s photographies. The civil war from 1975 to 1990 and numerous armed conflicts have not only left deep traces on the cityscape, but also on Beirut’s inhabitants as Alfred Tarazi’s memorial paintings show. Conversations de Salon a feature realized by Daniele Arbid shows four nicely dressed ladies in an upper middle class living room who talk about fearful war sufferings and several other subjects in a strange tea party atmosphere, with a nonchalant casualness one could also talk about the weather. Lamia Joreige’s Full Moon summarizes a poetic quest for the almost too perfect beauty of the Beirut nights, where in every “day & night” environments doubtful and threatening events may occur at any moment …

Alfred Tarazi “Mazzacurati Says…” Meduim: Mixed media on paper.

Music has always been an important part of Lebanese culture reflected in Beirut’s music mix of traditional sounds and brazilian inspired jazz epitomized in the music of Fairuz and the Rahbani’s. In the last two decades, an internationally acclaimed experimental sound and music scene has developed in the city of Beirut mainly through the impetus of the Irtijal festival initiated by artists Mazen Kerbaj, Raed Yassin and Sharif Sehnaoui who are also present in the show with a sound-installation.

Further selected video and film works by artists Ali Cherri, Maher Abi Samra, Reine Mitri, or Rami El-Sabbagh give evidence of the struggles that are constantly flaring up and thematize the fears of the next detonating bombs, individual psychological conditions, coping mechanisms as well as the involved dominant powers’ geopolitical interests.

The powerful group show, (Beirut II), will be exhibited in Contemporary Art Platform – Kuwait until July 18th.