16 Emerging Artists to Watch in 2016
This work is available framed
Scarce New Flower is a photographic print work which originated for and was included in the exhibition Imitation of Life: Melodrama and Race in the 21st Century at HOME, Manchester (2016). The work is composed of digitally distorted packaging materials from ‘whitening’ cosmetic products produced in China, Indonesia and Thailand for distribution in Africa and the Middle East. The work is accompanied by a publication produced by the artist.
Sophia Al-Maria (b.1983) is a Qatari-North American artist, writer and filmmaker. She is the author of Virgin with A Memory and The Girl Who Fell To Earth and has also guest edited an issue of the experimental art-writing journal The Happy Hypocrite, entitled Fresh Hell. Al-Maria studied comparative literature at the American University in Cairo, and aural and visual cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work has been exhibited in various international institutional shows, including The Biennale of Moving Images, Miami, The New Normal, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing, Paratoxic Paradoxes, Benaki Museum, Athens (all 2017). Her first US solo show Black Friday was presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, (2016).
She is the Whitechapel Gallery Writer in Residence for 2018 and has an upcoming show at Project Native informant in London March 2018.
Image rights: Courtesy the artist
Sophia Al-Maria’s work as a writer, filmmaker, and artist is oriented around the tense relationship between makers and society, with particular attention to the socioeconomic systems that dictate those conditions. Much of her art stems from personal experiences; she uses issues of gender and place as platforms for explorations of the climate of independent filmmaking, the relationship between public space and hegemonic systems such as advertising, and the various historical forces that have shaped locales such as Cairo and Dubai. The London-based artist, who was also a delegate of the artist collective GCC (a reference to the Gulf Cooperation Council), has also received attention for her work on “Gulf Futurism,” a concept describing what Al-Maria sees as the dystopian social and aesthetic tendencies that characterize the rapidly developing Persian Gulf region.
Qatari-American, b. 1983, Tacoma, Washington, based in London, United Kingdom