City of cultures and art, freedom and madness, Beirut hosted for 4 days an arab and international artistic celebration where all cultural differences and geographic borders melted for the love of Art under one umbrella called Beirut Art Fair (ME.NA.SA).
For the 3rd year in a row, Beirut Art Fair (BAF) 2012 brought together different art from 40 galleries around the world presenting only their best contemporary pieces of art. The highlights of this year were The Comic Corner, a 4 meters (approx.) wall dedicated to the ME.NA.SA. comics showcasing over thirty original drawings. The Comics Corner offers through the “ninth art“ an overview spanning from the Maghreb to Asia, passing by the Middle East, and unveiling how comic creators seize the political, social and economic situations of their native countries. The Street Art corner and performance curated by Lebanese artist Ginane Makki Bacho, where graffiti artists drew live on the booth and at the entrance of the fair alongside with a live performance of hip hop songs & dance during the fair’s days.
The variety of video art – for the 2nd year – took BAF visitors to another world, from politics to social issues debated, the Video Box reflected the development of video art trend in among Arab artists. (It’s Not Wonderland) a monumental exhibition by Pascal Odille a space included gigantic sculptures, visual and sound installations, this course designed by Ziad Abichaker, (Cedars Environmental) a process to recycle plastic bags and plastic scrap (cups, plates, cutlery, CD’s, toothpaste tubes, tetrapak juice & milk packages) into plastic panel boards used in are collected & recycled locally in Lebanon, without any chemical or industrial additives embarks the visitor on an initiation journey to discover contemporary Lebanese. Participating artists are Rita Awn, Samar Mogharbel, Anita Toutikian, Katya Traboulsi and Alain Vassoyan.
Despite of the political situation of the region & Lebanon in particular, there was an international participation in BAF 2012. Just to count few: Galeria Sabrina Amrani from Spain, Sophie Lanoë Gallery from France, Gallery Prinzessin Michaela Nikolajewna Wolkonsky from Germany and more. There was an interesting Persian presence by Azad Gallery, based in Tehran, introducing the uniqueness & strong Persian art scene for the first time in Beirut.
Another distinguished matter in BAF 2012 was the strong presence of Lebanese galleries which boosted the art scene in Lebanon and brought talented emerging and established artists to eyes of the international art society. A step we hope to see continue in the following years as BAF expand and grow.
There was only one thing I didn’t like in the fair, the interior designs (home accessories) and fine jewelry section, it felt like a dispatched and disconnected part from the entire fair, especially that there were some artworks and sculptures shown in that section which somehow downgrade the value of artworks exhibited in the galleries.
Overall, BAF 2012 was once again an excellent gathering for art lovers, artists, collectors and galleries to bond and interact together regardless of the choas in the region! Enjoy the show: