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THE Middle East

Alter Roi

1980 - Israel

Alter Roi

Roi Alter (Israel, 1980) holds a BFA from the Bezalel Academy for Art and Design Jerusalem (2010) and an MFA from the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam (2013). He has participated in several group and solo exhibitions in The Netherlands, Greece, Israel and Germany.


Solo exhibitions include FRAMED (2017) at Kultur Salon, Berlin; The Last Waltz (2016), A Few Necessities (2015), Shock Echelons (2013) at JOEY RAMONE, Rotterdam.  Group exhibitions include Art-Athina Contemporaries, Athens, Greece (2013), Present Forever, FatForm Amsterdam (2012) en Revolutionary Playgrounds, De Appel, Amsterdam (2011).  Alter also explores the zone between the visual and performing arts.


In 2013 he staged War of the Worlds, based on Orson Welles' 1938 radio broadcast, in collaboration with Alissa Snaider and Renzo van Steenbergen as part of the tour performance Low Standards/High Ideals at Chukotka temporary Art Space in Amsterdam.  During his residency at OAZO Air (2016) Roi Alter worked on the staging of Kurt Schwitters' Dada story Franz Müller's Wire Spring centering around a man who started a revolution simply by standing there. Vocalist, performer and composer Anat Spiegel (IL) , performer Daniel Rovai (FR), artist and performer Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson (IS) and performer and composer Thomas Myrmel (US) are also taking part in this project.  


Roi lives and works in Jaffa.


Alter Roi - The Jerusalem Coat of Arms 

2015 - Pencil on wood, wax - 360 x 50


Alter Roi - Plan B

2013 - Mixed Media

Alter Roi - Dear 

2015 - Mixed Media - 90 x 100 x 70

Madani Tala

1981 - Iran

Tala Madani’s painted canvases and animations conjure up enigmatic scenes, often populated by anonymous, bald men. These men appear as if on stage where, apparently unconcerned about whether they are being watched, they laugh at each other, touch each other, paint each other, and even torment each other.  Masculinity is deconstructed in Madani’s work. She breaks down preconceived roles and stereotypes to explore power structures and the construction of male identity.


The men in her painting and animations enact pitiable, compulsive violations on their flabby, ageing bodies. Humour punctuates the tension of these awkward situations, but laughter is never a simple release in Madani’s work: comedy and humiliation uncomfortably coexist.  


Madani’s cast of characters was exclusively male until 2013, when she embarked upon two new and distinct bodies of work: the Peter and Jane series and the Pussy Paintings. The Peter and Jane series recounts the didactic exploits of the children from the Ladybird Learn to Read books, produced in Britain and exported around the world, including to Iran during Madani’s childhood in the 1980s. In Madani’s versions of the illustrations, errant bodily fluids and miniature men invade illustrations of the exploits of white middle-class children.


 Madani’s Pussy Paintings on the other hand, depict a young girl who leans back with her legs splayed in allusion to Gustave Courbet’s L’Origine du monde, 1866. Two loosely painted bald men huddle beneath her, craning their necks to leer up her skirt. The girl is silkscreened, while the men are painted in oils, thereby implicitly locating the figures in different planes.  The Corner Paintings, a series of diptychs begun 2018, are Madani’s most cinematic works to date. The paintings variously depict projectors and lamps, which, directed from one canvas into the other, create screens of light against which events can unfold.  Madani received her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2006. 

Madani Tala

Madani Tala - Tweezing Cake

2007 - Oil and pencil on canvas -

30,5 x 22,9


Madani Tala - Man with tweezers

2008 - Oil and marker on wood panel -

38,1 x 26,7


Madani Tala - Blowing

2009 - Oil on wood panel - 32 x 27


Madani Tala - Cheering 

2005 - Oil and pencil on canvas - 27,9 x 35,6


Madani Tala - Discussion

2006 - Oil and marker on wood panel - 30,5 x 27,9

Najd Maryam

1969 - Iran

Najd Maryam

 Maryam Najd (° 1969) is from Tehran but has lived and worked in Antwerp for many years. She works both purely abstract - with subtle gradations of color - and thematically figurative. What at first glance seem to be very different concerns appear to be two sides of the same coin.


She gives the most immediate access in her figurative paintings; they show a reflective artistic process that intertwines or unravels the social contradictions between the two cultures. Najd contrasts the oppressive and conflict-laden context of the Middle East with the utopia of Western "freedom." In this way she conducts an open but critical dialogue between two opposing worlds.  Recurring themes in her work are physicality versus spirituality, the freedom of the Western woman as expressed in the problems of the naked versus the veiled femininity, and the visible versus the invisible, for example the mysterious existence of anonymous refugees, migrants or world travelers. .


In her paintings Najd uses images that in their essence raise the most current existential questions. Maryam Najd always looks for the focal point where the extremes meet. Two people casually walk along the surf of the sea at sunset, but in the foreground of the painting a man is stretched out on the beach; wrapped in a nasty type of thermal envelope of shiny foil.  With a lot of empathy, yet without becoming pathetic, Maryam Najd portrays razor-sharp characters in all their human dignity.


In her portraits you can feel the hand of the artist who can situate her within the European tradition of which she is a part, but she nevertheless does not abandon her Eastern view. The migrants are not impoverished beggars, but elegant and proud characters in a fateful situation.  In her work, the artist always draws unexpected lines, for example between origin and craving, between utopia and ideology, or between individuality and hidden beauty. In the end, everything revolves around the concept of freedom, not only as a goal in itself, but also as a philosophical concept and as an enduring question. Is freedom a right or a favor? A challenge or an ordeal? And what about the freedom to sin?


Najd Maryam - Sky

2004 - Oil on canvas - 200 x 155


1976 - Iran

Nuur David

To describe his works, Navid Nuur (° 1976, Tehran, Iran; lives and works in The Hague) coined the term 'interim modules': pieces that mediate between thoughts and their materialization, negotiate the place they occupy and about their temporary presence. The interim modules are modules for a way of thinking, a way of perceiving the temporary 'intermediate state' of things, referring to their short existence and interconnectedness. Light tubes, plywood, plaster, metal wire, polystyrene, paper and ice cream are the materials he recycles in his caustic, minimal works. Nuur states that "the process of construction and deconstruction is built into his works; some indeed only exist in the form of publications. Nuur uses a wide variety of media, including drawings, text and installations. His often perishable works, in which the process is central, propose a series of subjective conditions and rules, from which they also arise. The artist intuitively captures these through his careful consideration of a specific space, substance or immaterial phenomenon such as light or energy.


Nuur Navid - Study 52-153 (The Eye Codex of the Monochrome)

1984 - 2015 - Acrylic (chroma key paint) on wood - 65 x 76,5 cm

Razmi Anahita

1981 - Iran

Razmi Anahita

I am a visual artist working with installation, sculpture, moving image and performance - often research-based and in collaboration. Exerting a transcultural approach to contemporary art and its histories & references, my works are exploring contextual and geographical shifts - with a focus on shifts between an 'East' and a 'West'. Being Iranian/German myself and using this background as a reference, I am interested in the possibilities of import/export, hybrid identities and in the constructions and ambiguities of cultural representation.  


I studied Media Arts and Sculpture at Bauhaus-University Weimar, Pratt Institute New York and State Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart. My works were exhibited in international institutions like Museo Jumex, Mexico City, Halle 14, Leipzig, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria, Sazmanab Center for Contemporary Art, Tehran, Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany, The National Art Center, Tokyo and Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Germany. Among other grants and scholarships, I received the Goethe at LUX Residency, London (2018), the Werkstattpreis of the Erich Hauser Foundation (2015), the MAK-Schindler Scholarship, Los Angeles (2013) and The Emdash Award, Frieze Foundation, London (2011).


Razmi Anahita - An artist who cannot speak Farsi is no artist

2017 - Digital print on 100 percent Chinese silk - 140 x 250 cm


Razmi Anahita - Stacks/Variations

2016 - Framed letter, four framed fine art prints - 

Tal R

1967 - Israel

Tal R


(Tal Shlomo Rosenzweig)


Born 1967 in Tel Aviv, Israel

Lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark

1994-2000 The Royale Academy, Copenhagen, Denmark

1986-1988 Billedskolen, Copenhagen, Denmark

2005 -  2014 Professor, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf

Scholarships, awards (selected):

2005 Eckersberg Medaillen

2002 Carnegie Art Award

2002 Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, Årets Kunstner



2016 Ny Carlsbergfondets Kunstnerlegat

2005 Jens Søndergaard og Hustrus Mindelegat

2004 Eckersberg Medaillen

2002 pris fra Carnegie Art Award

1999 Statens Kunstfonds 3-årige arbejdslegat; Carnegie stipendiat



Tal R - T-Bone

2013 - Mixed media - 50 x 240 x 120 cm

Khatibi Sanam

1970 - IRan

 Sanam Khatibi’s works deal with animality, and our primal impulses and the core of her practice interrogates our relationship to power structures, specifically the duality of triumph and failure. The recurrent themes that often feature in her work question our relationship with excess, loss of control, bestiality, the male-female dynamics, domination and submission. She is also interested in the thin line that exists between fear and desire, and how closely they are interrelated.Her subjects live on their impulses in alluring, exotic landscapes. They are ambiguous with their relationship to power, violence, sensuality and each other. Wildlife and animals are an integral part of her practice, and her subjects are often depicted within the same plane as the flora and fauna. Her work consists of paintings, embroideries, tapestries, and sculptures. 

Khatibi Sanam

Khatibi Sanam - I left with bits of you stuck on my skin

2015 - Oil and pencil on canvas -100 x 140 cm 

KhatibiSanam (1).jpg

Khatibi Sanam 

KhatibiSanam_SmelledHer(01) (1).jpg

Khatibi Sanam - From the moment I smelled her, I loved her

2015 - Oil on canvas - 100 x 140 cm


Khatibi Sanam - A distinct affection of a more animal kind

2016 - Oil, oil bar, pastel and pencil on canvas - 200 x 220 cm

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