Abdullah Qandeel show at Trump Soho Penthouse
Abdullah Qandeel: Eton-schooled and Now Saudi’s Hottest Art Export
The Trump Soho Penthouse in New York City is the venue selected to display the exhibition “Open Versus Closed” by emerging artist Abdullah Qandeel, one of Saudi’s finest art exports. Known for his bravery in expression and inspired by Neo-Expressionism, Qandeel weaves traditional mediums of oil and canvas with the unexpected precision of a pen, to create bold, unapologetic pieces that in turn highlights his love of colour.
Qandeel focus in empathy to create freedom for the future Saudi generation
The “Open Versus Closed” demonstrates how empathy is Qandeel’s solution to creating freedom for the future Saudi generation. The exclusive appointment-only event, held at The Trump Soho Penthouse (a 50 million dollar space owned by real estate mogul Alex Sapir), boasts a view of one large tower that represents true freedom, ‘The Freedom Tower’. At one of the highest viewpoints of Manhattan, and using the symbolic ‘The Freedom Tower’ as a backdrop, “Open Versus Closed” represents a true win for humanity.
This is a unique opportunity to see Qandeel’s works, which have an authentic language of their own. Whether the subject area be political, emotional or otherwise, he has no fear in using his art to question those areas that are more often than not off-limits. He observes and explores the boundaries set in place by our own emotions, resulting in him provoking a reaction; forcing his spectator to challenge their own assumptions (“The Failure” sold at Sotheby’s on 22 April 2013).
Educating and inspiring the new generation
As an 11 year old boy, Abdullah was living in an English boarding school as the only Muslim individual. It was here when on September 11th, 2001 he shared a deep sadness with the victims that fell on that fateful day; for it was at this moment too that his very own identity was shattered. Taking on the responsibility of educating and inspiring the new generation, he expresses his emotions as a visual diary through his gift of art. He sets out to bring change and understanding to a society that so desperately needs it.
Qandeel epitomises artists who paint not only from their minds, but also through their hearts. Abdullah Qandeel says: “I hereby state that I no longer accept the stereotype and the prison that has been handed to me over generations of time. I invite you to observe, feel and absorb the development of the new Arab culture, the revival of a new generation where investigation replaces revelation. I am not differentiating myself, I am simply saying that our common sense has been placed temporarily out of service”.
The guestlist of the opening event, which took place on October 29th, included Prince Talal M A Al Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Mubadala of Abu Dhabi and VH1, Qandeel‘s PR Team OWN IT PR. Qandeel is working on bringing ‘Open Versus Closed’ to the UK in 2014.