Hawazin Alotaibi was the third of six artists exhibiting as part of the Incubator 21 program. A Saudi-American interdisciplinary artist, she earned her MFA in Painting at the Royal College of Art this year and is currently working in Brixton.
Alotaibi’s body of work, presented at Incubator 21, examines contemporary notions of masculinity and self-representation in the Arab world. Using image distortion and experimental printing processes, Alotaibi creates subdued portrayals of male figures that contend with evolving conceptions of Arab masculinity.
The artist uses both sourced imagery and personal memorabilia. While many of the figures are collected from the Internet, others, such as the recurring theme of flowers, make their way into the work through memory. Growing up, flowers appeared as representations of womanhood and femininity in cultural and religious books the artist was given at school in Saudi Arabia. With the proliferation of social media, Alotaibi saw this same imagery increasingly appear online in scenes of male self-fashioning. This tension between traditional dogma and contemporary representation catalyses Alotaibi’s artistic examination of gender and masculinity in the face of the shifting cultural and political dynamics of the Gulf countries.
co-curated by Angelica Jopling, Clara Galperin and Taylor Zakarin