Shirin Neshat Explores Power, Identity and Societal Roles in the Islamic World 

"Ghada and Sayed", taken from the "Our House is on Fire" series, 2013. Digital C-print and ink.

“Ghada and Sayed”, taken from the “Our House is on Fire” series, 2013. Digital C-print and ink.

An exhibition of Iranian-American artist Shirin Neshat’s works at the Hirshorn Museum in Washington, DC wrapped up last month after garnering much acclaim. Running from May 18th – September 20th, 2015, the exhibit, entitled Facing History, featured a handful of Ms. Neshat’s iconic pieces in both photographic and video form and integrating snippets of Iranian history and perceptions of the Islamic world throughout.

Based in New York, Ms. Neshat was born in Qazvin, Iran in 1957 and lived there until she left to the US for art school during the Iranian Revolution, settling in Los Angeles for the duration of her academic career.

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Beyt by 2b Design in Cambridge, MA Doubles as Social Enterprise/Design Firm with Mission to Save and Repurpose Architectural Heritage 

Beyt by 2b Design, a social enterprise based in Cambridge, MA, 550607_382265838485664_700694584_nplaces importance on the preservation of cultural and architectural preservation. Known casually as Beyt, it is owned by an international design/business-savvy couple who pick through salvage yards in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt to salvage parts of destroyed traditional homes, which they then upcycle into stunning and unique home design pieces.

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Mahmoud Mokhtar, Contemporary Egyptian Sculpture and Revolutionary Spirit 

In light of recent events in Egypt, it is perhaps of interest to shine light on an important member of Egypt’s modern artistic history. Mahmoud Mokhtar was a sculptor extraordinaire who was born in 1891 in the Nile Delta.

"Au Bord du Nil" (On the Banks of the Nile)

“Au Bord du Nil” (On the Banks of the Nile)

It was at a young age that he began making statues out of the clay that was easily available to him in this particular region. He and his mother eventually immigrated to Cairo, and he began to attend the Cairo School of Fine arts in 1908, the year the institution opened. Continue reading