Hamad & Ali: Pop Icons

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Lahd Gallery is proud to announce the premier of our first pop art exhibition featuring a Kuwaiti Pop art duo, Hamad Al Saab and Ali Sultan. Presenting the Arab culture and history through their own contemporary vision, both Hamad & Ali believe that although pop icons around the world have transcended their time to become symbols of popular heritage and national pride, their works will reflect Arab culture in a modern and internationally accessible way.

Pop art has crossed all boundaries across all nations and cultures to produce many of the twentieth century iconic images. We are all too familiar with the expression “15 minutes of fame”, a short –lived, often ephemeral phenomenon. Because popular culture is something that almost everyone can identify readily with these days, this medium has arguably become one of the most effective means of communication.

The pop art collaboration of Hamad & Ali began when they used old film footage, vintage, magazine covers, and all sorts of material that they collected on these icons from flea markets and various archives, and interpreted them in a contemporary way. They wanted the world and their people to see that there is more to Arab culture than religion and politics, namely, a vast collection of movies, songs, musicals, and theatre that their generation of Arabs seem to have forgotten, and they wanted to revive these cultural treasures.

For Hamad& Ali, pop art is their way of expressing the emotions that they associate with their glamorous past, present and future. Their new approach of using celebrity icons from the Middle East to cast their own interpretation of the world and the current issues surrounding the region by using these icons to play out these messages is undoubtedly effective and we are all the more reminded of the arabesque motives and celebrities that made their glamorous past shine.