The Urban Experience, an exceptional exhibition that opened on Thursday April 19, presented a variety of artwork of not one artist, but an eclectic group of twelve international contemporary artists and in turn, showcased a feeling of unity and aims “to provoke a cultural exchange between Western and non-Western societies by exposing them to one another through art”. The exhibition’s opening day brought about an exciting crowd, including the artists’ themselves present and discussing their work, to art dealers and art lovers alike. What enhanced the experience of absorbing the artwork was that the gallery itself is spacious, well-lit and invoked an urban atmosphere. Each of the various contemporary artworks displayed, coupled with the gallery’s setting, commanded its own attention and justifiably so; the vibrant colors, textures, and miscellaneous materials used on each of the creations are alluring enough to draw one in and captivate them to decipher what the artist is trying to convey about contemporary life and how it relates to living in a non-Western culture. Being surrounded by distinct representations and glimpses of global urban life, through paintings and sculptures alike, creates an ambience of newness and offers a fresh perspective of being able to observe the ordinary and daily concepts of life with a new outlook. Distorted Disney characters, mundane life depictions, still life, and exhaustive infants comprise some of the inspiration that enticed the talented artists to work on and offer an ingenious evaluation on the subject matter and how it can possibly alter or enhance the audiences pre-conceived perceptions on it.
The extensive group of artists whose work features in the exhibition are: Jean-Philippe Duboscq (Belgium); Marco Pariani (Italy); Ahmad (Lebanon); Yazan Halwani (Lebanon); Adam Handler (US); Adam Parker Smith (US); Jonni Cheatwood (Brazil/US); George Morton Clark (UK); Charlie Sickboy (UK); Rob Tucker (New Zealand); Adriana Oliver (Spain); Andres Lozano (Spain); Javier Calleja (Spain); Fadia and Impala (Unknown).
The curator of the exhibition, Hind Ahmad, who launched the Artual Gallery which is an online virtual gallery, hopes to provide a genuine and varied window on everyday life across the world, comprising perceptive interpretations and creative interpretations of daily routines and habits. Hind is “inspired by the fresh outlook and drive that fuels emerging artists, and is highly captivated by Contemporary Art”. She brings this movement to Lebanon and visualizes transforming Beirut into an influential city both in the regional and local Contemporary Art scene.
The exhibition is ongoing until Saturday April 28, daily from 12:00 pm till 7:00 pm at 3BEIRUT, Beirut Central District, Omar Daouk Street, Downtown.