The Colourful Drones of Mahwish Chishty

In the past few years, drones have emerged from virtually been unknown to becoming a symbol of modern warfare. Almost simultaneously, artists have subverted drones by turning them into art in a rising subculture: from the drone cinema that features films shot from hexacopters, and the Drones of New York and quadrocopters fly-dancing in Austria, to David Shook's “Poetry Drone” project, which aims at raising $10,000 to buy a flying drone that will cruise over cities, raining down antiwar poems on t … [Read more...]

Colours and Voices: The International Museum of Women Muslima

After converting to Islam, I struggled with my community’s views on art, women and the combination of both. Having grown up in a society that prides itself on a variety of artistic movements, and being part of a very artistic family, I felt uncomfortable accepting my Muslim community’s idea that art is prohibited in Islam.Growing up, I was part of a children’s musical show that played music specifically for children. Being a child singer was a great part of my life from age four to eight … [Read more...]

Diving for Pearls: Robert Adanto’s Film

Pearls on the Ocean Floor, directed by Robert Adanto in 2010, profiles female artists who identify with an Iranian background to discuss their work.  The 16 artists explore the fluid confluence of identity, religion, and political expression for Iranian women as they strive to present it in their art.  The film is currently making its way in screenings across the world.Adanto features the artists’ works—who work in a variety of mediums—throughout the film, interspersing images of their art wi … [Read more...]

An Interview with Abdulaziz Al-Qahtani

Last week, we profiled Abdulaziz Al-Qahtani's "An Intimate Geography" exhibit at the Lahd Gallery. This week, we sat down for an interview with the artist himself.Sara for MMW: I noticed that you never explicitly mention Islam in your work. Was this intentional?Abdulaziz Al-Qahtani: I wanted to move away from Islam, because I do not like to classify based on religion. I do this because I feel as though everyone is spiritual, and that is the best way to be in touch with your inner self. I … [Read more...]

J’adore Chador: Majida Khattari’s Art

Le Monde, France 24 and Le Nouvel Observateur covered Franco-Moroccan artist Majida Khattari's Parisian runway show/art exhibit in April. Her show was titled "VIP" (for Voile islamique parisien) and took place at Paris' Cité Universitaire. The show was atypical of Parisian shows in its choice of subject: a series of veils.Her choice of subject isn't by accident. Since 1996, Khattari's work has in some way related to veils of all kinds--and now, in the middle of the debate over France's pro … [Read more...]

The Ladies in Red: Shepard Fairey’s Propangand-art

I must admit, when I first saw my brother and sister walk in with these t-shirts on, my first thought was, “Awesome! Where can I get one of those?”If you live in California, the graphic style should be all too familiar. Shepard Fairey’s stickers, stencils, and prints can be seen plastered on sidewalk newspaper stands, electrical boxes, billboards, and on the sides of trains all across Los Angeles and Orange County.It’s all a part of an experiment in phenomenology—an idea that attempts to … [Read more...]

The Fine Art of Sexism: “Islamic Erotica”

I was hit by a case of déjà vu when reading two recent articles discussing the work of Makan Emadi, which MMW has discussed before. In a piece posted at the Daily Beast, Betwa Sharma boldly claims that Makan’s work is part of a rise in “Islamic Erotica.” Sharma says that Muslim artists are depicting Muslim women as pin-ups. The mainly discusses an ongoing debate about Islamic rulings on the depiction of human beings.Rather than being indicative of a rise in the fetishization of Muslim women, … [Read more...]