Greenbox dictionary of Saudi Arabian artists

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Talal Al-Zeid (1981) has a website which repeats three times an opening statement: that we should never judge a painting by its colour. Yes, that we should never judge a painting by its colour. And readers who agree with Talal should never judge a painting by its colour. As long as they remember that when the sky is blue it might not rain.

Talal is one of those much travelled Saudi's who has set up camp again in Riyadh and it seems that he has rediscovered the austere black-and-white fashion of local wisdom among the many flags of the world. Those flags perhaps, one may agree, advertise no more than biscuits. They are all biscuits (2009) it reads in mirror image in his paint on paper work of similar title. It is only the idea that tastes well in this work of art, so it is in essence no different from the world's oldest calligraphy. And actually it is a very funny idea. Imagine a gathering of officially dressed Saudi males and then allow on stage Talal's simple thought about biscuits.

'Being unoriginal is today's "Pandemic," is another statement the artist allows pride of place on his website. So is the artist himself original? Graffitti and armed comics are the shoulders on which Talal's art stands, but his stance is not just a love affair with this underground smell. His stones are thrown with measured intelligence and with a genuine interest in the many faces of humanity. One day we may wake up finding the artist has become an official in the foreign office and has forgiven even the spoilt brats who appear to irritate him. One wonders if he writes Arabic too.

Talal exhibited his work at Oasis Magazine's first "O" exhibition in 2010. (2010).    


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From top to bottom: The are all biscuits (2009), Selfportarit with ponytail (2009), works on paper with pen, paint marker and house paint.