Naima Morelli

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Despite a lack of cultural spaces, as well as ongoing political and economic instability, Libyan artists are determined to nurture their diverse arts scene.

I have spoken to a few of these important figures, working from Tripoli, Benghazi or from abroad, for Middle East Eye.

Here is the link to the piece

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I’m so proud to announce the publication of the new catalog of late painter Anna Salmoni (Naples 1938 – Florence 2019) called “Intimi Estranei”, which features my critical text. The catalog presents for the first time a comprehensive perspective on the haunting and evocative work that this incredible artist realized over a lifetime.

This book is not only to share these paintings with a wider audience but is also an important step in enhancing the complex artistic production and reading it in a new key, given the contemporary context. Laura Albano – photographer and daughter of the artist – did a huge work of cataloging, sorting, archiving, and tracking down the different works owned by Salmoni’s collectors.

Potrebbe essere un'immagine raffigurante il seguente testo "INTIMI MI ESTRANEI n Salmoni Salmoni Anna la pittura di"
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Radice and Turconi

A couple of months ago I have interviewed for Global Comment two of my favourite graphic novel authors, the creative couple Teresa Radice and Stefano Turconi. The interview has just been published; we delved into the creative process behind their most interesting work.

Here is the link to the interview

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Andonowati at home with a work by Tisna Sanjaya in the background. Courtesy of Andonowati.

It was an honour and a privilege to start my collaboration with Larry’s List with this interview with one of the people I admire and respect the most in the art world: Andonowati.

She is not only a extremely savvy collector with a heightened sensitivity for art, but also an accomplished mathematician, a collector, a gallerist, a business person, an art initiator, and entrepreneur and also an incredibly compassionate and kind human.

I first met her through my research on Bandung-based artist Eddy Susanto and learned about her gallery and foundation Lawangwangi Creative Space in Bandung. In 2010, Andonowati launched the Bandung Contemporary Art Award (BaCAA) — one of the most prestigious art awards in Southeast Asia, which I took part of as a judge in 2019.

Here is the link to the interview

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It has been a few months now that I have been working on two articles about Libyan contemporary art for the webmagazine Middle East Eye.

The first one of the two just came out. Here we look at the younger talents in the country and in the diaspora, Shefa Salem, Tewa Barnosa, Mohamed Abumeis, Malak El Ghuel and Faiza Ramadan, with the observation from gallerist and expert Najlaa Elageli from Noon Arts.

Here is the link to the piece

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I’m very happy to announce that “This is how it is” the monograph of Malaysian artist Yeoh Choo Kuan, is finally out, published by Richard Koh Fine Art. I have written the book’s texts that translate and interpret the different phases of the artist’s career, and realized interviews that figure as segments in the book.

The book features also a foreword by curator and critic, Louis Ho and was edited by writer Rosa Maria Falvo. It presents a number of images of the artist’s work, from his formative years (2011-2014) to the more recent installations and the iconography of traditional Sinophonic visual culture (2018-2020).

You can find the book at Richard Koh Fine Art

From the first dialogues with the artist and the gallerist back in 2019, to visiting the artist’s studio and getting to know the artist’s environment in January 2020 – right before the start of the pandemic – it has been an incredible journey of discovery. Both in the real world – getting to Kuala Lumpur to see the works in person – and at my working table, through the process of writing.

So, about the writing. To talk about some artworks you necessarily need to excavate deep truths. And Choo Kuan’s monograph was definitely a work where the pen was really attuned to the spirit. What I mean by that? Let me back off a bit and explain where I come from in terms of books.

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The drill is simple, yet it’s one that we can hardly keep in mind. Don’t fool with Mother Nature. And take responsibility for your behaviour towards all species. This is what the pandemic is teaching us, and what Thai artist Ruangsak Anuwatwimon has been speaking about through more than a decade of highly impactful, heartbreaking artworks. 

I have interviewed the artist and the curator Loredana Pazzini-Paracciani for the show Reincarnations III – Ecologies of Life is presently showing at Warin Lab Contemporary, Bangkok. The piece is on Plural Art Mag.

Here is the link to the article

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Saudi artist Moza Almatrooshi

“The magical realism that resonates with me the most is the religious mythology that is born out of the Arabian Peninsula,” she tells me. “Until recently, there were minimal efforts to unearth all the erasure of pre-Islamic mythologies and histories in the region. I became interested in all the negative spaces that were vacant and allowed for a re-imagined social landscape to form.”

The webmagazine Middle East Monitor has just published my interview with Saudi artist Mooza Almatrooshi.

Here is the link to the interview

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“Before you start painting, you’re a person in flux, multi-dimensional and colourful. You decide what characteristics you want to embody as a painter prior to entering the studio each day, ” says Ruben Pang from his studio in Sardinia, Italy. 

I have interviewed the artist for Plural Art Mag for his new online solo show at Primo Marella Gallery.

Here is the link to the interview

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Tripoli-born art entrepreneur and educator Shatha Sbeta is very clear about her objective. “I want to bring Libyan female artists and their artworks — as well as their stories — out to the world through commerce.”

My research on Libyan contemporary art continues with an interview with Shatha Sbeta for the webmagazine Middle East Monitor.

Here is the link to the interview

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“For me, there is always a visceral element to how I create,” tells me Suha Araj from her home in Brooklyn. “That’s why I’m always drawn to the stories of the Diaspora, because that’s where I have the most emotion. I’m interested in how people survive, and the clashes of living between two cultures.”

My interview with Palestinian-American director Suha Araj has just been published on Middle East Monitor. It was a wonderful conversation that opened up to me new learning not only about Arab cinema, but also about how one becomes a director.

Here is the link to the interview

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I went to Cambodia for the first time in 2018, doing Siem Reap, Battambang and Phnom Penh. During my one month research trip I spoke with as many artist, curators, gallerist that I could.

Cambodia and its arts scene operated a deep transformation in my spirit, and I became very fond of the burgeoning art scene there, steadily developing despite the many difficulties.

One of the most deep, articulated conversation that I had during that time was with artist and curator Vuth Lyno. When I visited him at the art space Sa Sa BASSAC in Phnom Penh, I mostly asked him about the art community.

This time, I have interviewed him for Plural Art Mag, about it latest work Sala Samnak at Mirage Contemporary Art Space, Siem Reap.

Here is the link to the interview

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