artnet interviews Canvas magazine editor Myrna Ayad on the Saudi art scene, following the publication of the book Contemporary Kingdom: The Saudi Art Scene Now. Asked about the challenges facing artists, Ayad talks about the stereotypes about Saudi Arabia:
What is the biggest challenge facing the Saudi art scene?
From the West: Being pigeonholed into stereotypes, being classified as art inspired by limiting themes such as “gender issues,” “repression,” “women’s rights.” Also, being exoticized for just being “Saudi art,” as though it is a miracle or phenomenon that Saudis are creating art. As far as the Saudi art scene itself is concerned internally, there’s no stopping its protagonists, who are eager for more government support and patronage—this is one of the next steps. There needs to be more engagement with the art scene from a governmental level—art schools and the like.
Who are the 10 Saudi artists we need to know?
I prefer not to list a “top 10″ and suggest the young and emerging artists to look out for: Nasser Al Salem, Musaed Al Hulis, Sami Al-Turki and Dana Awartani.
And here are two articles published this month on Saudi art.