Friday, April 02, 2004

Ok, bear with me on this art thing, I just read about the Hewar Gallery in a magazine today; the Hewar Gallery courtyard...

... in conjunction with the Hewar Gallery, this is Artvitae's entrance page to "Live from Baghdad" an online exhibition and sale of artworks by Baghdadi artists. There are a couple of other interesting links on the opening page to help set the scene. Then ~ to the show. There are 51 pieces, you can click on an image to find out who it's artist is, and/or send an e-postcard of the art.

I've been reading a bit about the Iraqi art scene, but you might as well go and see for yourself rather then have me just rehashing what i've read.

It's interesting, there seems to be/have been a quite strong art movement in Baghdad, drawing significantly from expressionism. I've mentioned I think before, the parallels that could be drawn between German expressionists in the early 20th century and expressionism in Iraq during the Saddam years. Although, of course, there are differences too. An artist learns how to survive, even in the harshest conditions, some perhaps learn how to save their souls from withering by speaking in images. Expressing emotion is often risky and if the risk of arrest is additional then maybe that is an insight into the heart of an artist, express and risk possible execution, or contain and risk suicide. The stories of these artists are as varied as anyone's, and seem to cover a subtle spectrum that at times ignores politics, and at other times can't escape it.

(And in case you wondered, those are 100% un-rehashed original Emigre thoughts).


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