Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Art Newspaper Discovers Islamic Contemporary - and doesn't get it

I'm thrilled that The Art Newspaper has brought such attention to this important movement. But I do wish their editor would allow artists the freedom to follow their instincts. Is it "colonialist" to insist that artists from the Middle East keep to their traditions? Or is it, rather, a way of keeping them caged, like zoo animals we like observing, to keep these artists from reaching beyond them? Isn't it, in the end, the artists' choice? The greatness of the work being produced by Muslim artists is the freedom they have found to create work that both celebrates and embellishes their culture. This is what they bring to us. Let them.