The 7 Arab Artists at Banksy’s ‘ Dismaland ’
Everyone’s favourite street artist, Banksy, caused quite the stir when announcing the opening of his newest instillation, Dismaland. Built in secret in the British seaside resort town of Weston-super-Mare, the temporary space is a satirical take on a Disney-style theme park featuring more than 50 artists, including works from seven Arab artists, which we have helpfully profiled below.
1 Suliman Mansour (Palestine)
Considered one of the most important Palestinian artists , Mansour has contributed greatly to art education and promotion in the West Bank. The painter is well known for his use of mixed media as well as co-authoring the book Both Sides of Peace: Israeli and Palestinian Political Poster Art. His work at Dismaland represents symbols of his home country’s culture and nationality.
2 Tammam Azzam (Syria)
Arguably the most famous Syrian artist in the world, Azzam’s works examine the juxtaposition between man’s artistic and destructive capabilities. Having featured in galleries across the world (including here in Dubai), Azzam’s more popular pieces see him elaborate on famous artworks - photoshopping works of Picasso, Henri Matisse and Gustav Klimt (below) onto near-destroyed buildings. The piece presented by Azzam at Dismaland is a digital piece that adapts recognisable artworks know as ‘freedom graffiti’. His intention, as he puts it, is to “draw the outside world’s attention to the problems taking place in my home country.”
3 Sami Musa (Palestine)
Palestinian activist and artist, Musa’s work at Dismaland features pieces from his Chic-Art-Resistance exhibit which toured his country in 2013. His works centre on emotive symbols of contemporary struggle including security cameras, barbed wire and tear gas.
4 Huda Beydoun (Saudi Arabia)
The only Gulf artist at Dismaland, Huda Beydoun was raised in Jeddah, and presents pieces from her ‘undocumented series’. The works include a collection of digital pieces that have drawn attention both regionally and internationally in recent months.
5 El Teneen (Egypt)
When your name translates to ‘the Dragon’ then you are likely to get noticed. And noticed he was, thanks in large part to his criticism of the Egyptian Supreme Council during the Egyptian revolution in 2011. El Teneen’s politically-charged street art and graffiti has since won him a large following and at Dismaland he presents two pieces of graffiti focused on the current political systems and climate in his home country.
6 Ammar Abd Rabbo (Syria)
One of the Arab world’s most important photojournalists, Rabbo’s work has been published in everything from Time magazine to Paris Match and Asharq Al Awsat.
7 Fares Cachoux (Syria)
Born in Homs, Cachoux is a qualified computer scientist and holder of a doctorate in visual communication art. His works focus on the unstable situation in his home country using photography and minimalist posters – several of which will be showcased at Dismaland.