Farah Al Qasimi Brings Splendor to Photography
Art Young Artists 2021

Farah Al Qasimi Brings Splendor to Photography

“I think the highest form of art is a children’s TV show,” Farah tells me, from her live-work studio in Bedstuy. “So much has to be uncovered, sodelicately.” This makes sense considering her photographs: lush, color-ful, off-center images that approach the world with a childlike curiosity and a theorist’s tact. I first met Farah when I invited her to do an artist talk at the Brooklyn Museum. Then, in 2018, just a year out of her MFA at Yale, she had already had two solo shows at her Dubai gallery, The Third Line, and a particularly buzzy one in New York at Helena Anrather. And the buzz was well deserved. In “More Good News”, Farah’s photographs made the hypermasculinity of the US and the UAE look weird, even sort of cute. In a work like Nose Greeting (2016) we see two men huddled closely together, their noses almost touching—a common greeting made tender, almost erotic. Since then, she’s made videos inspired by horror films and produced major commissions at the MITList Visual Arts Center and Art Basel. In "Back and Forth Disco," her recent Public Art Commission for MTA bus stations, she turned her eye towards the immigrant-centered spaces of New York City, showing us bodega chandeliers, nail salons and Chinese markets.

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