Faisal Samra

Bahrain 1956 (Saudi). Lives and works in Bahrain.

"I firmly believe that the role of art is to expose the naked truth, to unmask the disguised reality. Today, what we see in the world around us is not real. Art goes beyond the fake exterior or covering of things as we superficially experience them. Digging past layers of pretense, it attempts to reveal the truth that lies concealed within. In my view, one of the major functions of art is to act as a raw documentary of its social time. Art is, indeed, a form of record of artists' reactions to the world that they live in. Among its main roles then is the documentation of the feelings, perceptions, and thoughts artists have regarding their surroundings. In such a sense, in terms of its function, art is timeless. But in another way, with respect to its content, art is actually time-specific. Any artwork, after all, deals with the reality of a very particular period of time. In fact, I would go as far as to say that there is no such thing as purely abstract art or utter abstraction. All art is linked to reality at some level or in a certain way. Abstract art conveys our sensational perception of the physical world but does so in a much more nuanced manner than its figurative precedent. Indeed, I see abstraction as a reflection or a manifestation of our more developed way of thinking and perceiving.  Thus, I resolutely uphold that art should remain frank and bold about its time and that it should penetrate into the heart of the truth."

- Excerpt from 'Notes From a Conversation with Faisal Samra' by Nadia al Issa
Faisal Samra - Distorted Reality, exhibition catalog published by Darat al Funun - The Khalid Shoman Foundation, 2007