Contemporary Middle Eastern Artists You Should Know

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Dream by Sara Shamma

In this article, we want to discuss some of the most innovative Middle East artists working today. We have collected a selection of artists who talk about the variety of works of art created by Middle East artists in recent years. You will be able to learn about those who are worth watching on the stage of contemporary art.

We want to showcase the works of artists based in the Middle East and the Middle East artists living around the world.

Nurit David

Building a Summer House II (After ‘One Day in Spring ‘ by Izumi Kyoka) by Nurit David

Nurit David is an Israeli artist, based in Tel Aviv. Most of her work is large-scale and intricate. This Middle East artist combines a geometric and somewhat surrealistic approach to creating vast landscapes, interior scenes, and abstract works. Nurit’s paintings and engravings are distinguished by bright colors, a continuous play of depth, and a style bordering on pop art.

The representative of Middle Eastern art has shown her work in exhibitions across Israel, Brazil, Germany, Japan, and the US, from the Jewish Museum in the US to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Samia Halaby

Gassan by Samia Halaby, image courtesy of Palestine Museum

Samia Halaby is one of the leading figures in Palestinian art and Middle Eastern art as a whole. Samia is known primarily for her extensive abstract paintings and her role in the formation of the abstract art movement. She is also an activist, scholar, and art historian. Throughout her career, Samia has used her art to shed light on the struggles faced by Palestinians and to document the landscape of her homeland.

Samia’s works have been shown at solo exhibitions throughout the United States, the Middle East, and Europe. Also, the pieces of Middle Eastern art have been held in institutions such as The British Museum, the Guggenheim, and the Jordan National Gallery.

Sara Shamma

Dream by Sara Shamma

Sara Shamma is a Syrian artist based in the UK. The representative of Middle Eastern art comments on the Syrian Civil War, the displacement of Syrian refugees, and the consequences of human trafficking.

She explores humanity, identity, and mortality in a variety of styles and environments. She revives the portrait genre to express the deeply rooted pathos, longing, and emotions of the sitter. Sarah gives her paintings inner detail and tangible expression.

Sara Shamma is a Syrian artist based in the UK. The representative of Middle Eastern art comments on the Syrian Civil War, the displacement of Syrian refugees, and the consequences of human trafficking.

She explores humanity, identity, and mortality in a variety of styles and environments. She revives the portrait genre to express the deeply rooted pathos, longing, and emotions of the sitter. Sarah gives her paintings inner detail and tangible expression.

Heja Rahiminia

Looking for Utopia: Refugees (3) by Heja Rahiminia

Heja Rahiminia is an Iranian photographer. He explores the themes of global migration, war, and diaspora through her semi-surreal aerial photographs. Heja’s work is based on incessant narratives of political, cultural, and social struggles.

Heja draws focus to the body and its relationship to the land. Heja’s photographs are both striking and mysterious, prompting a closer look at the scenes captured by him, starting with the figures and ending with the vast expanses of the surrounding area.

Farhad Moshiri

Untitled by Farhad Moshiri, image courtesy of Phillips

Farhad Moshiri creates works that use formal elements of pop art to comment on the relationship between East and West. He combines symbols of Western consumerism with depictions of Middle Eastern artefacts to create work that weaves seemingly disparate themes and styles together.

His pieces of Middle Eastern art are an amalgamation of his experiences and are executed in a tone that is simultaneously humorous and critical.

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