I don’t know how I didn’t know about Dubai based artist Hassan Sharif until now. His work of transforming everyday objects into colorful piles and mobiles makes my heart race. Sadly, while researching him, I discovered that he passed away, at only 65 years old, in 2016 after a long battle with cancer. Here are a few words from his website:
“I’m not trying to make magic of some kind that would impress an audience as to how the work is created. There are no secrets. The philosophical or psychological question here is how, as an artist, I give myself the authority to make art.” – Hassan Sharif
Recognized as a pioneer of conceptual art and experimental practice in the Middle East, Sharif’s artworks surpass the limits of discipline or singular approach, encompassing performance, installation, drawing, painting, and assemblage. Beginning in the late 1970s, he worked as a cultural producer and facilitator, moving between roles as artist, educator, critic, activist, and mentor to contemporary artists in the U.A.E.
‘I give myself the authority to make art‘. Yes. In 2018 there was a retrospective of his work shown at the Sharjah Art Foundation, titled Hassan Sharif: I Am The Single Work Artist. Click on the title of the show to read more about that show, his work, and his life.