Join us Monday, December 7th for the first Live Painting Event at NYU Abu Dhabi. Together with curator Houda Lazrak, the Art Gallery at NYUAD brings 5 UAE-based street artists: Fathima Mohiuddin (aka Fats), Gary Yong (aka Enforce1), Justin MacMahon (aka JustOne), Steffi Bow, and Sya One.
The event will be an interactive afternoon of art and exchange about the art of spray painting and the artistic process of street artists.
Starting at 12pm, 5 artists equipped with spray cans, markers, acrylic paint, and stencils will be offered a multi-dimensional surface to demonstrate their aerosol painting skills. Meanwhile, students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be welcome to experiment with tools of the trade and leave their mark of creativity on the 3D structure.
At 5pm, one artist will demonstrate their painting technique.
The event will continue until 7pm, when audiences can move on to the spoken word “Hekayah” event at the Arts Center, details here.
ABOUT THE EVENT:
The UAE-based artists hail from various international backgrounds and have unique creative styles. Fathima Mohiuddin aka Fats creates work that resonates of universal truths that portray, through playful abstract characters and interactions, narratives of tragedy and dismay coupled with triumph, hope, and momentum. Gary Yong aka Enforce1 is a founder and director of Cut Collective, a New Zealand based art collective well known for its public and street art but also engaged in producing innovative and unconventional commercial art activation. Just One aka Justin MacMahon befriends urban spaces, and transforms “blank” ones into areas of interest for everyone passing through them. His work is greatly inspired by his travels, a significant source of his reflections and engagements. Steffi Bow uses spray paint to create complex stencil pieces, portraits, freehand graffiti bows, letters, and abstract pieces. She has created the largest piece of aerosol art in the UAE alongside with partner, Sya One. Graffiti writer Sya is passionate about letter construction and colour combination, looking at the never-ending styles and realms as to what a letter can do.
Curated by Houda Lazrak, an M.A. in Museum Studies Candidate at NYU, this event promises to be an exciting exploration of street art in the UAE.
About the Curator: Houda Lazrak is visiting Abu Dhabi as a Humanities Research Assistant at the NYUAD Institute. This project is part of her research, towards completing her Master degree in Museum Studies from the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University. She obtained her BA from McGill University in 2012 with a double major in Anthropology and Human Geography. Houda is interested in exploring the interactions between art and society, particularly art presented in urban public spaces. For her master’s thesis, she is exploring the complex implications of exhibiting graffiti and street art in institutionalized museum settings. Houda has documented works of street art and graffiti in several countries and is a regular content contributor to several online art platforms.
Gary Yong aka Enforce One is a founder and director of Cut Collective, a New Zealand based art collective specializing in curating exhibitions, interior murals and large-scale public work. Cut Collective is well known for its public and street art but also engaged in producing innovative and unconventional commercial art activation, specializing in site-specific installation.
Gary Yong has been a full time visual artist for the last 4 years. Apart from having a commercial approach with his art practice, he is also working primarily as an illustrator, stencil and aerosol artist. He believes in constantly reinventing and evolving as an art maker. He has built an impressive portfolio across many creative disciplines, with experience as a graphic designer, curator, and art director. The idea of collaborating with other art forms has always been attractive to him. Despite many years of learning new techniques and perfecting his skills, he always believes that he is only just scratching the surface and has a long creative journey ahead.
Born and raised in Dubai, Fathima (Fats), currently lives and works from the UAE as an artist and curator. Combining a background in fine art and sociology, over the last 10 years her work has spanned from large works on paper, intimate illustration, live art, and stop motion animation to more recent street art projects in London, New York, Jordan, and Dubai. Her work taking from personal experiences resonates of universal truths that portray, through playful abstract characters and interactions, narratives of tragedy and dismay coupled with triumph, hope and momentum. “We are all walking wounded.” She says. “And we can be heroes”.
Her signature styles of mark making and line work are both dark and chaotic yet fluid, organic and hopeful sometimes coupled with text that references these same truths.
Fathima gradated with a BA in Art
Emerging from the rising movement of graffiti art in Europe, Just One became interested in mural painting in the early nineties.
Through 20 years of commitment, he has proved himself to be a versatile artist, whose work reflects both his sensitivity and exactitude. While active in different environments, he has increased his support tools, but today expresses himself principally through use of a stencil technique. This gives him the possibility of duplicating his work on diverse surfaces, at the same time allowing him to work rapidly in an urban milieu. In fact, the street is where he likes to work best, where time counts. By attempting this “illegal” look at the walls of his own city, Just One has managed to befriend urban spaces, and transform “blank” ones into areas of interest for everyone passing through them.
After city walls, it’s from squatted apartments to top galleries that Just One has chosen to evolve his street art into more popular and educational murals. While navigating the world, his work is greatly inspired by his travels, a significant source of his reflections and engagements.
Steffi is a British graffiti and stencil artist based in Dubai. From the inspiration and memory of her late Scottish Grandmother (who always wore bows) to the place where she was born (Bow, East London), Steffi created an image through a graffiti bow tag that represented her whole being, past, future, and present.
What started off with painting simple graffiti bow tags, Steffi went on an adventure with spray paint, creating larger and real life complex stencil pieces, portraits, freehand graffiti bows, letters, and abstract pieces. As one part of the dynamic art duo “Sya
Sya One was raised on the streets and lines of the UK and now lives and breathes the endless cultures of Dubai. He’s a graffiti writer for nearly 20 years. As a sign writer by trade, Sya moved into letter construction and colour combination, looking at the never-ending styles and realms of what a letter can do. As his website puts it, “With a can and his hand, music in his ears, and his wife by his side he finds solace in creating something beautiful for himself or for others. It may look simple but hours of time go into thinking about the building of a piece.” The style he has adopted, in his words, is “lazy” fat letters with an easy flow and bright fills.
Woven Identities examines how we adapt or conform to our immediate environment, and questions how the transient lifestyle in the UAE affects the sustainability of interdependent relationships.
The UAE has, and has had, many creative communities, both apparent and unknown. This exhibition focuses on one such formation, sometimes called “the 5”, a number that in fact varied in the decades framing the 1990s. It had at its core an intersection of artists, writers, and filmmakers from the UAE, South Asia, and Europe.