Saudi-Arabian artist Faisal Samra’s Distorted Reality combines digital photography, video, performance, and computer graphics. Performance, in particular, plays an integral role within the work, acting as a chief tool of expression that sets up a dialogue between itself and the overarching concept of the piece.
Distorted Reality is the artist’s critique of the images that we are constantly barraged with, immersed in, and hypnotized by in this day and age. These images have been carefully conceived and created of a reality that has been doctored and distorted, a reality that has been tailored by multinational corporations, mass media machines, and political regimes to deceivingly appear attractive. Samra underlines the fallacy of such dolled-up images by subversively using the same media that they do in order to satirically parody their phoniness, exposing their truly dubious nature and their artful purpose.
Within Distorted Reality, Faisal Samra presents and merges actual elements in a bizarre and otherworldly manner, transporting the viewer into an unknown realm, a space that is quasi-fantastical yet fundamentally based upon reality, a place that reflects the outer world. Through the warping of reality in his work, Samra, as many artists do, unveils hidden truths. As part of this revealing process - this commentary on the deceptiveness of "made-up images" - Samra plays with the symbolic depths of masks and the act of masking, delves into the theme of appearance/illusion versus reality/factuality, tackles the contradictions commonly existent between surface and interior, and broaches the tangled issue of image construction.
Born in Bahrain, Faisal Samra studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. Having dabbled with design, Samra’s diverse artworks, which combine media such as painting, sculpture, and installation, reveal an obsession with visual culture and imagery, often involving a mélange of references to historical and contemporary realities. A nomad wandering through time, Samra has participated in various group exhibitions including “Languages of the Desert: Contemporary Arab Art from the Gulf States” that was shown at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris in 2006 and at the Kunstmuseum in Bonn in 2005 as well as "Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East" that was displayed at the British Museum in London in 2006. He has had numerous solo exhibitions like “Repeated and Different” at Galerie Epreuve d' Artiste in Beirut in 1999 and “Nabatiyat” at Darat al Funun in Amman in 1996. Samra's work is held in several private and museum collections such as the British Museum, the Bahrain National Museum, the Kinda Collection in Riyadh, as well as the Khalid Shoman Private Collection.