Interview with a Kuwaiti artist, Fareed Abdal, during the auction in Kuwait.
Fareed is an architect, professor, artist, photographer, jewelry designer and has many unspoken areas of interest... His artwork was sold at the JAMM auction of this year.
- What do you think of this auction in Kuwait?
"Any activity that can unleash creativity in our society is a good activity. It allows us to develop visual depth. We all have subjective opinions on what art should be, who is an artist and how should he be. Whether the artist is young or older, starting now to create or have a track record and maturity in art; It doesn't really matter.
The artist is listening to his inner journey, he will not be fooled by judgement of others. It is better if the art is celebrated but artists have their own story to be told.
There might be a need to have a more rigorous judgement and critique.
- How do you sparkle creativity in younger generations?
"Art is a form of meditation, a contemplation and reflection. It is the necessity to share each's point of vue, his angle of life and each is different. Practice often becomes the theme and becomes an obsession. Anything will be a source of sparkle...
Matthew Fox said: "Do not confuse beauty with beautiful. Beautiful is a human judgment. Beauty is All. The difference is everything. "
- Does Kuwait need an auction house, is there not enough galleries?
" I could build assumptions and see the negative side of auctions as it is known worldwide: It's like a stock market, you raise prices of shares and promote speculation.
The good side to an auction is bringing an understanding about the culture value. The value of a painting is different from its cost. Kuwaitis are sophisticated buyers in business and they are well aware of cost in many things. But the added value of development, of an extra mile or an extra artistic input is not yet appreciated. The power of aesthetics is an added value. It is a new language of creativity and this auction will trigger debates about prices, value, added value, creativity.
That is quite healthy
We need to increase the number of people who recognize the added value.
- Is there a culture of auctioning in Kuwait?
" Not in the visual art maybe, but in our own history and culture we do a lot of auctioning, from the fish, to camels, to goats, to cars.. these are commodities and objects.
Historically, we even had auctions on appreciation of beauty with arabian horses solely about aesthetics and beauty, so different from warrior, race or work horses.
So yes, we do have a culture of auctioning in Kuwait in all of its meanings...
- What was behind your art work for sale in this auction?
" It's a work of calligraphy of a Quranic verse, but I like to flirt with the Sacred and the Holy and see what comes out of it. I confront the verse against other religious frameworks, against water on paper, against the structure and the imposition of a framework by preconceived ideas of sacred. I see the universal everywhere and I am part of the Divine's creation as equally as anything else."
- Nearly all works have been sold, is it a successful auction?
"I measure success not by sales but by the intention:
The auction is donating a percentage of the profit to a charitable cause: "Bayt Abdallah" a hospice in Kuwait for children with life threatening diseases, open to any child in Kuwait, regardless of origin, nationality or religion.
This cause celebrates every moment of life, to help out children in distress.
I find it special and different from other auctions, artists are part of collective effort to help out. and that is beautiful."