Canadian-Iraqi artist Iyad Almosawi creates works which give an aesthetic high to public eye in Dubai - GulfToday

Canadian-Iraqi artist Iyad Almosawi creates works which give an aesthetic high to public eye in Dubai

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The art looks for untapped sites and corners and unveils secrets found there.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Zimzy Gallery, Dubai, is currently hosting a one man show titled The Manifestations of Love. It is a mural project that features the various art forms of Canadian-Iraqi artist, Iyad Almosawi. It will run till the end of February. 


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Almosawi, has enjoyed a childhood infused with art and here he creates an engaging visual experience using vibrant colours, imaginative designs and 3D techniques that bring the aesthetics of contemporary art pieces to life.

As a bonus, it should be said that he is a public spirited person, who insists on making art accessible to the widest audience possible. So his works are done in a way that people without an academic background in art, can partake of its pleasures.

Born in Baghdad and living in Canada for 35 years, Almosawi’s pieces showcase Arabic context or influences in contemporary art, within various themes of decoration. His multi-dimensional paintings, in which he is adept, translate into functionality too, like wall rugs and murals.

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3D techniques bring the art pieces to life.

The Manifestations of Love aims to break art out of the confines of a gallery, extending the experience to a larger audience. Creating a visual experience that engages passers by and opening a window to the art world, it strives to bring the aesthetics and visual beauty of contemporary art to the city, adding to Dubai’s colourful dimensions.

“Art should be accessible to everyone”, says Almosawi. He has spent his recent years in the Gulf and gives a Middle Eastern context to contemporary art. His artwork innocently explores inner energies, looking for untapped sites and corners and unveils secrets found there. His pieces express the joy of the wonders of life and nature and haul you in with optimism, imparting a taste of energetic living, with inspirations and positivity. The artist’s optimism and energetic character shine through and is reflected in all his art pieces, which are curated using printmaking techniques, with materials that include steel, copper and leather.

“Iyad Almosawi is recognised among art connoisseurs in both the West and the Arab World as one of the most important of the new generation of artists who are set to be the investment frontier for collectors and form the foundation for a fresh chapter in art history,” says Professor John Dishman, Fulbright Scholar.

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Optimism and energetic character shine through and is reflected in the art pieces.

The collection of vibrant murals at the gallery is a vision of the artist's view of the heritage of the Arab World and is inspired by elements like nature, Middle East architecture and is frequently based on his nostalgia of his Arab ancestry.

The murals showcase UAE’s heritage, nature and way of life, mainly inspired by the country’s past and its future aspirations and vision. Finally, the art is accomplished with both day and night influences, and is also inspired by Canadian nature and travels around the world.

Almosawi's work has been exhibited globally. He has been awarded the Rosso Faramat grant and has resided in Banff, Alberta Centre, Canada. He further attended the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta and the Faculty of Fine Arts Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

For several years, he took part in the Art and Culture Festival, in Asilah, Morocco. A veteran of over 18 solos, his works have been shown and have been seen in Kuwait, Morocco, Canada, the United Kingdom, Tunisia, Iraq and the UAE. He recently participated in a joint exhibition with Amer Al-Obaidi, US-based Iraqi artist, in Dubai.

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The works give a Middle Eastern context to contemporary art.

Almosawi has several super achievements to his credit; one of them was marked back in 1996, when German car giant Mercedes Benz acquired his artwork to be used in their advertising campaign.

His works have been acquired by the Art Bank, Ottawa, in addition to the holdings of individuals and institutions in North America, Europe, the Arab region and Gulf States.

Almosawi has also learned both art history and art criticism as an independent scholar, for over thirty-five years. He speaks passionately about being a writer and critic, having published many studies and art related articles about Arabic modern art and innovative Arab artists.

Iman Kasem, Art Director at Zimzy Gallery said: “Our work at Zimzy gallery is constant and focuses on being a platform to connect, inspire and empower art in the UAE and abroad. We feel it is important to show the beauty and diversity of art representing heritage, culture and memories; hence we are excited to host the work of Iyad Almosawi as the colours, tones and calligraphy exemplifies the art of the Arab world.

“Iyad Almosawi’s art offers warmth and happiness and is in synergy with our aim to offer local collectors a wide choice of masterpieces suitable for art galleries, private residences corporate offices and murals for large buildings.”

Almosawi is presenting 50 oil paintings and over 100 pieces of murals. Circles, triangles and squares, numerous art sculptures that can be translated into different shapes and sizes for indoor and outdoor installations, are a key feature of the exhibition. The show is running in parallel with seminars and art tours with architects, consultants, city planners, collectors and art lovers.

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