The series, which is composed of eight pieces titled by number, is part of four exhibitions the gallery will present over the year, on a quarterly basis, called “Art in Exile,” which presents artists who are doing art away from home. Eks, who was born in Alexandria, currently lives in Berlin.
Eks’ series is based on a concept agreed on last summer and its exhibition during the unrest in the Arab World is purely coincidental, say the gallery.
“It’s definitely timely,” says Jennifer Ahmed, a spokesperson for the gallery. “But it’s not something we did consciously. The artist had made the agreement with us before all of this started to take off. He fits in our project, and that’s what the agreement was all about.”
Despite its name, the series does not feature anything from the Arab Spring. There aren’t any bloody scenes, nor will one find any concocted ideas for the Western audience. And while its connection to the revolution is undeniable, it’s a series that stands on its own as it relies heavily on colors and symbolism.
“The series is inspired by the ghutrah,” said Ahmed, referring to the Middle Eastern male headdress. “The ghutrah is, of course, a strong symbol of freedom in the Arab World, and that’s why the artist chose to call it the ‘Arab Revolution.’
The gallery say the series’ title has double meaning: what the ghutrah does on a daily basis, such as protecting one’s eyes and mouth from the sun and dust in the region; but also the call for the collective freedom that the artist felt was important for the region.
“The artist is an activist whose life’s purpose is fighting for equality for all,” said Ahmed, pointing to the artists past work, which includes paintings that feature two men kissing, a portrait of Lindsay Kemp, as well as a piece titled “Salam-Shalom.”
Eks’ series will be showcased until April 19th. For sales and other information about the series or gallery, contact Jennifer Ahmed at firstname.lastname@example.org and to view the exhibition visit http://albertogallery.com/