Pioneer Artist Samia Halaby: “Abstraction Is An Image of Nature” (Arabic)

Format mpeg4, Bitrate 9.286 mbps

Beirut, Lebanon

February 4, 2015

At the age of 79, Samia Halaby is one of the leading artists in the Arab world.
Halaby’s first retrospective exhibition, Samia Halaby: Five Decades of Painting and Innovation, currently held in Beirut, celebrates more than 70 of her artworks she has produced. Halaby wishes to hold similar retrospective exhibitions in different parts of the world. Her work is widely sought around by art collectors. One her paintings were sold at Christie’s auction house for $179,000.
As an international and Arab pioneer of abstraction, Halaby aims to place abstract painting within the reach of a very wide audience.
“People say that they do not understand abstract art,” she says. “Therefore, I give paintings titles to open the door for spectators to enter and see whatever they want.” Halaby has remained faithful to abstract painting throughout her long career because she believes it is “an image of nature.”
“While [Photography] builds a perspective using a lens, [abstract art] imitates nature without a lens,” Halaby adds. The Jerusalem-born artist’s work reflects her political and historical background. Her vast array of paintings includes a collection on olive trees, an icon of Palestinian culture and symbol of resistance. She has also written a book on the artistic representation of the Palestinian intifada and believes that it constitutes a distinct artistic school

Shotlist

  1. L-R pan of Downtown Beirut and Beirut Exhibition Center
  2. Various of Beirut Exhibition Center from outside
  3. Tilt down of exhibition wall “Samia Halaby Five Decades of Painting and Innovation"
  4. Various of paintings
  5. R-L of Samia Halaby looking at painting
  6. Wide/ zoom out of painting
  7. R-L of Samia Halaby looking at painting
  8. Wide of paintings
  9. Various of Samia Halaby in exhibition reception lounge
  10. Various of exhibition wall “Samia Halaby Five Decades of Painting and Innovation"
  11. Medium of Samia Halaby’s face
  12. Close-up of Samia Halaby’s face
  13. Various of Samia Halaby talking to female reporter
  14. Wide of Samia Halaby talking on the phone
  15. Various of paintings
  16. Close-up/ zoom out of painting
  17. Wide of painting
  18. Tilt-up of two paintings
  19. Close-up/ tilt up of painting
  20. Wide of painting
  21. Close-up/ L-R pan of painting “Woman. Oil on Acrylic"
  22. Wide of female spectator next to painting
  23. R-L pan of paintings
  24. Various of paintings
  25. L-R pan of art construction hanging from the ceiling
  26. Close-up/ zoom out of art construction hanging from the ceiling
  27. Wide of suspended art construction and paintings
  28. L-R pan of suspended art construction and paintings
  29. Various of paintings
  30. Close-up of Samia Halaby talking

Script

  1. soundbite (Arabic)
    Samia Halaby, Palestinian Artist : "- What are your dreams today? - I would like to repeat this retrospective exhibition at a European or an American museum, or even in China, but it should be an independent museum I wrote a book about the representation of the Palestinian intifada in paintings. After studying this, I found that these paintings constitute an art school, which has its own field of information. It resembles the Mexican art school. Also, I would to paint. I have many goals – more than my time can fit. The other thing I would like to do is return to computer programming. I would love to create new artwork using the computer. As Palestinians, we are always on the margin of… There is always racism against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims. These days, racism is mostly directed against Muslims; they have forgotten about us, Palestinians. If you are a woman, a Palestinian and a Muslim, then may God help you. A painting cannot express certain things without including text or figures. For example, a painting cannot recount history. You need to write history. I have a collection of paintings about the Kafr Qassem massacre. I also have a collection about olive trees. I did not include these works in the retrospective exhibition. The art with which I deal, the type of paintings that I produce is a based on research. I studied history in order to see what I can add to this large edifice – the culture of painting and photography. I would like to add something. This is my goal; I will either succeed or fail. Historically, abstract painting is the most recent form of art. Also, abstract art is an image of nature. When you take photographs using a camera, you will obtain something that descends from painting and coloring during the Renaissance. [Photography] builds a perspective using a lens, while [abstract art] imitates nature without a lens and does not take place in a second or a moment. People say that they do not understand abstract art; therefore, I give paintings titles to open the door to allow spectators to enter and see whatever they want. I do not want them to feel that this something that is far from them or sacred. It is something that is very natural. I have an experience with people who see things in paintings that I did not see. When they are able to love the painting, it means that they have seen something beautiful in their lives before seeing this painting. I painted this after I stopped painting still life. I started to assemble geometrical forms in a way that reflects Arabic style to a large extent. Part of the pattern is repeated very often. This is how I assembled this. I wanted black light to protrude. This form reflects light, and the black color is laid over violet. I learned this from the paintings that I made earlier."