I am writing to contest Rijin Sahakian’s characterization of the artist-led organizations I helped to build from the ground up.
Recent actions allegedly perpetrated by the Saudi Arabian monarchy, the brutal murder of a journalist, are nothing new, but have triggered an overdue interest in human rights among museum leaders.
The Smithsonian, Sotheby’s, and landmark institutions across NYC are under pressure to address their financial connections to the Saudi Arabian government in the wake of the suspected murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — In the Arab world, it’s not an easy task to voice an opinion that goes against the cultural norm. The average person would usually be shunned for doing so, often persecuted.
What is art and what is not in Saudi Arabia? We were hoping to answer that in the first monthly Casual Art Talk (CAT) I hosted in Jeddah on November 23, 2011. CAT is a small initiative I started to gather artists and art lovers of all ages to talk about art in all its different forms. We began by discussing the broad definition of art, but all who attended felt that it would be more productive to think about the local art scene. As with so many conversations trying to answer the question of what is art, the only conclusion attendees could agreed on is that art is a matter of taste and we will never concur on its purpose.