“Ebtisam Abdulaziz”

Ebtisam Abdulaziz: Contemporary Emirati Conceptual Artist

Ebtisam Abdulaziz is an active Emirati contemporary artist, in the United Arab Emirates scene. Represented by The Third Line gallery in Dubai, she offers conceptual art, inspired by the minimalist movement of the 60s. Art Media Agency interviewed her to find out more about her ambitions and the difficulties a female artist in the Middle East can meet, and to have a better understanding of the contemporary scene in this part of the world. AMA: You have a diploma in Mathematics and Science. At what point did you decide you wanted to turn to art? E: I guess it started when I was a child. I used to love art and reading, and my dream was to become an artist. Unfortunately, when I finished high school, I couldn’t get the chance to study art, since there was no art college in the UAE. I decided to get a degree in math because it is an interesting subject to me, and I believe art and math are connected to each other on so many levels. I started my real career as an artist in 1999, when I came back from Al Ain. That was when I joined the Emirates Fine Arts Society to practice art. AMA: Have you ever studied any artistic mediums or received help from people close to you, when you started to approach different artistic mediums? E: Yes, I joined drawing courses at the Fine Arts Society, and I practiced painting using acrylic, soft pastel and oil colors. When I started my journey in art, I became very close to a group of artists and learned a lot from them, especially artists like Hassan Sharif, Mohammed Kazem, Abdullah Alsaadi and Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim. These artists are close friends and we work together and support each other. To...

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Ebtisam Abdulaziz: a United Arab Emirates artist

Abu Dhabi, 6 December 2011, Art Media Agency, (AMA). Artist Ebtisam Abdulaziz, was born in Sharjah in United Arab Emirates, in 1975. In the late 1990s, after studying Mathematics and Science, Abdulaziz joined numerous associations, including Emirates Fine Art Society, Dubai Youth Theater & Art Atelier and Sharjah Ladies Club. In the early 2000, Abdulaziz worked for the art magazine Al Taskeel, and contributed to various art and daily magazines. She translated several theoretic artistic articles, especially articles concerning Yves Klein, Hans Hofmann, Sol LeWitt and Robert Morris. From 2001 onwards, the artist has often presented her collective works in Sharjah, Dubaï, New York and Germany. She exhibited at the 7th Biennial of Sharjah in 2005 and enjoyed a solo exhibition at Sharjah Art Museum in 2007. The artist’s work belongs to collections of Deutsche Bank AG, Ministry of Culture, Abu Dhabi youth or to private collections. Her art is multidisciplinary, including video art, photography or installations. She represents environmental or human subjects in her works— especially Brain that explores the function of the human brain— and she explores the optical illusions through a visual displays with geometrical forms, for instance Line, Triangle or Life’s Cube. Her works are autobiographical and connected to her initial studies on Mathematics. “I need these sciences as a modern human being… (…)I also dealt with everyday issues laden with psychological poignancies; issues like life and death, happiness and sorrow, love, hate and jealousy”, states Abdulaziz. Abdulaziz is politically engaged and considers that “manipulating numbers and mathematical systems is simply a cry of revolt against the shackles of oppressive regimes.” As a libertarian and active artist, she fights for an intellectual and committed art, “related to social progress and human intellect...

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