With exhibitions in Qatar, Oman, Germany and the UK, Mohammad Awwad is an internationally acclaimed Jordanian artist and arguably the Middle Eastern version of Salvidore Dali. He finds inspiration from all manner of haphazard places, from random colours and textures, through to bus tickets and old books. In his vintage, surreal style Awwad juggles new experiences, mediums and ideas, tackling contentious issues such as power and politics, the environment and culture, through dreamlike imagery. He attributes the explosive colours, cultural diffusion and distinctive character of his work to the myriad of influences and various cultures he has been exposed to.
The Core, Mohammad Awwad
His continuous pursuit of new experiences, mediums and ideas makes his work more authentic and diverse. We had the pleasure of discovering more about the artist behind the work and his plans for the future.
Nomad Bedouin, Mohammad Awwad
Can you tell us about your journey as an artist and the concepts behind your work?
I started drawing from a very young age. I would draw and colour anything I could get my hands on and copy and paint characters in cartoons which I grew up with. After high school I studied art in higher education and graduated from the Art Academy in Cairo. At the start of my career, I experimented with many areas of art and techniques. I would reflect on life events and everything happening around me politically and socially, considering how to express my thoughts through art. I focused my practice on collage and drawing, transferring between the two mediums until I specialized in collage through both analogue and digital installation art.
Samra, Mohammad Awwad
Can you tell us more about how you developed a style that is both futuristic with references to tradition?
Through the continuous experimentation and practice for over a decade with my work, I was able to create this digital practice influenced by my social and cultural motivations. I made sure to include visual references to my Arab heritage and culture, to maintain both my Arab identity and Islamic identity, through geometry, Arabic calligraphy and even exploring cultural fashions and Bedouin style.
Khadra, Mohammad Awwad
How does your work connect with your cultural roots?
My work connects with my cultural roots through the regional personalities that I use as my focal point. I ensure visually it represents the local culture in the Middle East and even Africa. You will find references to the Sahara, camels and Arabic calligraphy in a lot of my work also.
Global Circus, Mohammad Awwad
Does the representation of your identity as a Muslim matter in your work?
I care for my Islamic and Arab identity even though I am not particularly religious. Most of the people who engage with my work are Arab and Muslim, so respecting the beliefs of my audience is very important to me. I experiment with concepts and ideas in my work, but at the same time respect the beliefs of people who encounter my work. I do not like obscenity or using nudity in my work because of my belief it will not add any artistic or real value to my art.
Maiden, Mohammad Awwad
What is your vision of the future of Islamic art?
I think that with the rise of technology, Islamic art will continue to evolve iand become even more accessible and easily implemented. The origin of islamic art, was intricate in terms of formation and implementation. However, technology is proving to facilitate this and hopefully Islamic art will develop to become a global trend as a consequence.
Eruption, Mohammad Awwad
Can you share your future goals and ambitions as an artist?
My future goal is to create more art, experience new boundaries through the pandemic and hopefully in the future see my work showcased in one of the largest and famous museums on Earth.
For more information about Mohammad Awwad follow him on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mo.awwad.arte/?hl=en
The views of the artists, authors and writers who contribute to Bayt Al Fann do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Bayt Al Fann, its owners, employees and affiliates.