Visiting Artists Lecture #3 - Ayad Alkadhi
28 February 2013
Ayad Alkadhi's artist talk was what I wish I could hear from more artists. He spoke about his inspirations, techniques, and goals of his work in a way that was easily understandable and gave me a deeper understanding of him and his work.
He described the aim of his art as telling a personal story, rather than how the news media focuses on the "collective impact." It was interesting to see the way sin which he was able to focus his art in to deliver a personal, individual story. Many artists focus on larger ideas and issues, but sometimes they fail to bring it down to the personal level, so it remains less relatable to thos uninvolved in the issue.
I thought it was interesting how Ayad discussed his take on addressing women's issues - many people would way that , as a man, he cannot fully understand what women are going through, so he could not properly make art about it. However, he discussed how he sees himself as a sort of omnipresent storyteller, putting himself into other people's shows. He emphasized that his work, though controversial in topic, seeks "not to defend or attack," but rather, he urges the viewer to examine all the aspects surrounding a situation before passing judgement. I think artists sometimes become short-sighted and focus in too hard on the issue they want to explore, but forget to look at all sides of it first. Ayad's art addressed some deep cultural issues and his art told a story, but at the same time it did not seem to attack or punish - it simply told the story from the individual's level.
Many times with art, I am confused about exactly what the artist is trying to say with the piece. However, with Ayad's work, I felt that even without his explanation, I would have gotten the same messages out of it by just seeing it and knowing the titles. That is not to say that his work is simple - it is very deep and thoughtful in exploring some very multi-faceted issues - but I think his work is very effective in telling the story that he is trying to tell, rather than just looking beautiful.