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Art

Meet Maha Alamri, the Saudi artist who recreated Daft Punk’s “One More Time” video starring Gigi Hadid

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Maha Alamri brings Gigi Hadid into Daft Punk’s imaginary world in the 20th anniversary video of “One More Time”. Alamri paves the way as the first Saudi female artist featured on Billboard.com for her collaboration on Gigi x V Magazine released in July 2020. 

 

 

 

By Leena Khayat

 

 

The music video is an outer space electronic dance paradise starring an edgy glam green-skinned alien Gigi Hadid. Alamri was inspired by 1980’s anime and brought the feeling of dancing to techno music to screen. The Washington D.C. based artist tells JDEED about working with the Palestinian-American super model, her own inspirations and feelings gratitude. 

 

 

 

Congrats on working with our fellow Arab sister Gigi Hadid as well the electric duo Daft Punk, and V Magazine! Can you tell us a little about the project?

 

MA: Thank you! The music video is a reproduction of the original Daft Punk One More Time music video that was released in 2000. The video is celebrating Daft Punk’s 20th anniversary release of One More Time and it acted as a celebratory launch for Gigi’s Journal Pt.2 where Gigi celebrates artists from all over the world by featuring their work. The theme for the journal is a metaphor for life in quarantine. I wanted to show that in the video by making Gigi escape from her daily routine into a world of imagination. The video is meant to be uplifting and a break from the stress many are living under.

 

What was on your mind when you found out you were working on a project for Gigi Hadid?

MA:  I couldn’t believe it, it felt unreal. So thankful to the V Magazine team for providing me the amazing opportunity to channel my artistic visions into this project. Gigi Hadid has always been a fashion role model to me and I was thrilled when I learned about the opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does it feel to be the first Saudi female featured on Billboard?

MA: I am so thrilled and honored to be one of the first, of hopefully many more Saudi and Arab women able to present their artistic visions on the global stage.

 

You’re an insanely creative and stylish person, how do you channel that into your art? What themes do you pursue?

MA: I love fashion, I try to incorporate that in my art and everyday life. I am always inspired by other creative fields whether it be fashion, music, architecture, and photography. The themes I pursue are aesthetic and emotion. I try to challenge different artistic expressions in my own style. I like to reflect my style through my art by representing different stories and emotions I am going through in life.

Random places and interactions have inspired me, such as going to a 7-Eleven at night to get a snack. Listening to music also provokes my thoughts and helps me illustrate different scenes. I look at my art as an alternate perspective of my own world.

 

 

 

 

Who are some of your current artistic inspirations?

MA: Edward Hopper was one of the first artists that I found a connection with. The themes he explores are loneliness and melancholy undertones. I try to emulate his masterful control and use of light and shadows to create moods and contrasts. He uses a lot of windows in his work to frame and show different sources of light. I love architecture so naturally I was drawn to his paintings.

As an architect, I illustrate a lot of architectural references and perspectives in my work. Berber Theunissen is a photographer that focuses on the motif of emotion throughout her work. She tackles topics of feminism, body, and her relationships. I always refer to her work that is incredibly moving to me.

 

Being From Saudi Arabia, how much would you say that your background has impacted your art?

MA: I got into art at an early age from my incredibly talented grandmother, I looked up to her artistic skills and eye for design. I always used my personal illustrations as a means of escaping reality, so in that sense, my background and childhood pushed me to live in a different fantasy that’s interpreted in my art.

I purposely keep my art’s interpretation open-ended because depending on one’s own experience they could draw an entirely new meaning, and having that creative freedom is important. I think that’s what makes art so unique, there are infinite ways to interpret one representation. I believe a successful artwork is one that doesn’t force an idea but rather guides you through a journey of thought.

 

 

Follow Maha on Instagram, right here!