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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 11/04/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Palestinian artist hazem harb has had the benefit of witnessing conflict first hand and observing it from outside

Artist yara hindawi at work on her piece during the ‘live artist window’ which is part of the dubai art season 2014 at the piazza jumeirah beach residence dubai. — supplied photo

Fresh into dubai following a late-night flight from the uk my first meeting with palestinian artist hazem harb is a little disorienting and as we find somewhere to sit he seems a little anxious and in somewhat of a rush.

With barely an introduction between us the initial haze soon clears and with a turkish coffee in hand harb settles in and looks much more relaxed as we begin talking about life as an artist.

Flitting between dubai and italy harb who was born in gaza city in 1980 but grew up in italy says he was “born an artist” and at the age of 27 made his official debut into the art world.

“after studying at the academy of fine arts in italy i was lucky to be invited to exhibit some of my work at the national museum of rome. this was my first big show where i showcased the installation ‘made by war’.”

Having spent his childhood bearing witness to the ongoing conflict in the contested grounds of gaza seeing the effects it had on a people and a country first hand helped mould harb into the artist he has become today but he says there are “two hazem’s”.

“when i left gaza at 15 i had the chance to see things from another angle. so there is the hazem who lived through it and the hazem who watched from the outside. this is what makes me the artist i am.”

Watch him live

Flying into dubai to take part in the dubai culture and arts authority’s ‘live artist window’ at the piazza in jumeirah beach residence harb describes himself as a mixed media artist.

Specialising in conceptual pieces he says the beaty of modern art is the fact he can bring a vision to life through videography photography and installations — and not just a paintbrush.

“i can mix it up depending on my mood and time frame. traditional art like painting takes longer. i still like to paint but with something like videography or photography i can capture the real thing instead of trying to recreate it myself.”

And he says with its mix of modern and contemporary culture dubai is “the centre of art for the middle east” and a place where he always feels at home.

“dubai is such an open-minded city so it’s an honour to showcase my work here. i think it epitomises the evolution of art and culture.”

During his four-day stint which saw him take to the piazza along jbr’s the beach on wednesday the public can see harb working live as part of the dubai art season 2014.

Wrapping up tomorrow the palestinian artist says the piece he is working on is “exclusive” but will be a sneak preview of “something bigger” he is creating for his upcoming solo show in jeddah saudi arabia on july 7.

“this live piece for dubai will be an abstract of islamic art. and though i have a main idea in place working live like this with interaction from the public means i can add something different.”

One of the three artists taking part in the interactive ‘live artist window’ project harb is the final artist to take to the piazza where passers-by can track his progress from start to finish.

With a 15-foot container acting as his very own art studio harb says it’s nice to be able to feed off the public and he is looking forward to seeing the final outcome himself.

“while i am creating this art i don’t want people to look at it with their eyes i want them to look at it with their heart.”

Find out more ? www.hazemharb.com



Khaleej Times

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