October 22nd, 2011
Hussein Al-Mohasen (b. 1971 (?) in Qatif, Saudi Arabia)
Untitled, 2010, Acrylic on canvas
Nihad Al-Turk (b. 1972 in Aleppo, Syria)
Untitled, 2010, painting
Two lovely works by contemporary Middle Eastern artists Hussein Al-Mohasen & Nihad Al-Turk. I first stumbled across Al-Turk’s “Vase”, and loved its big fat beet-like proportions and moody maroons. It immediately drew me to it, it had gravitational pull. & I liked its heavy black outline too, and the way it shifted back and forth between two and three dimensions, alternately looking like an upright vessel and some kind of liquefied brick puddle oozing over a mat.
I was excited to post “Vase” and call it a night when my art-image search, the results of which I was just about to close, revealed to me Al-Mohasen’s “Untitled”. Anyone who’s followed “Art of the Day” or who knows my art tastes won’t be surprised that I gravitated to this piece — I’m a sucker for controlled visual noise (or, better yet, as in the case here, frantic color harmonies and resonances easily mistaken for visual noise). Blues and purples of different intensities, varieties and emotions anchor the piece and provide context for the central burnished golden urn/pouch object. The urn/pouch floats with beatific glow, touched by kelp strands and efflorescing golden glyphs, itself bursting with treasures and curlicues of exuberant color, sprouting pale flowers, lipstick smudges at its mouth. You can probably see why, with Al-Turk’s “Vase” fresh in my mind, this other round stout vessel-portrait caught my attention. That’s where the similarities end though; each work departs from that common ground in very different directions & through wholly different means achieve its own vision & presence & power.
More about Al-Mohasen & more of his art at Greenboxmuseum.com.
More about Al-Turk & more of his art at Ayyam Gallery.