Adulnasser Gharem:Art of Survival explores the extraordinary life and work of one of the Gulf’s most radical young artists. Gharem, who is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Saudi Arabian army, is widely regarded as a pioneer in the region for his firebrand intellectual courage and innovative use of materials, including rubber stamps, a collapsed bridge and an invasive tree.
Abdulnasser Gharem stands apart in so many ways. He is a soldier and an artist. He is widely regarded as a pioneer in the region for his firebrand intellectual courage and innovative use of materials. He does not produce art for the sake of basking in its reflected glory but for the possibility of bringing about change - actual cultural change.
The tale of Gharem’s creative journey is not the familiar plod of evolving artistic practice, safe within the hermetic confines of a studio. It couldn’t be more different. The story of this man takes us to the very heart of what it is to stand against the tide, to innovate, to do so fearlessly in the streets and amongst the people; and precisely what happens when an artists positions himself both at the heart of society and at the margins. Gharem says “I have no studio, so my studio is where I can find people. When I see the opportunity I go.”
With a text by Henry Hemming, author of Misadventure in the Middle East and Together and contributor to The Art Newspaper and The Economist and other publications.