Tag Archives al-bareh

The Most Expensive Art Exhibit in Bahrain!

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My friend Hameed and I had the good fortune to attend an art exhibit by the world renowned artist Mohammed Omar Khalil at Al-Bareh gallery in Adliya last night.

We both readily confess that we are not art connoisseurs, contrary to popular belief, but we like art. But the collection we witnessed at Al-Bareh was quite a bit away from our artistically beaten path. I guess you can call the art displayed as collages created by the use of different material, stuck on large board covering huge wall areas, which in itself, requires a large home to be displayed in. Or a museum more like.

The artist, who lives in New York and taught my own late father in Aseela in Morocco at one of his workshops, is certainly pure genius. His pieces are vibrant, thought provoking and uses completely ordinary material to create things which are completely out of the ordinary. Little wonder, then, that his work is highly sought after by world-class collectors and is included in the top collections in the world.

One might raise an eye brow when one first sees the price list, but when put in context, they’re not that high really, in fact, they are decidedly good value for money – if you are one of the investment art collectors that is.

I did a few quick calculations which might interest you; they certainly interested me!

  • The average size of the painting (of the 32 exhibited) is 108 x 111 cms
  • Average price is BD14,863 (US$ 39,423)
  • Average price per square centimetre is BD 1.2 (US$ 3.08)
  • Most “value for money” piece exhibited is ‘So What II’ priced at BD 38,000 (US$100,529) and measures 244 x 244 cms
  • While the least value for money piece is ‘The Curse’ priced at BD3,000 (US$ 7,937) and measures 44 x 31 cms
  • As all of those exhibited were produced in 2007, and assuming these are his total production for that year (I know it’s not, it is actually higher), then the artist produced 3 pieces per month, on average
  • If we assume that he started producing these works of art at age 30 and further assume that he will carry on doing so until he is 80, then he could produce 1,600 paintings in his lifetime
  • That possibly means a revenue of BD 23, 780,800 (US$ 63,079,045) over his production lifetime

Pretty useless (and completely unscientific) stats, but it was fun doing them too!

If you have a chance, nip over to Al-Bareh while the exhibit is still on. It will be worth your while. At the very least you can boast to your children that you actually attended an exhibition in Bahrain in 2008 where the total value of the exhibits was BD 475,600 (US$ 1,258,201)!!

Hameed and I did discuss starting a workshop slapping a few pieces of cloth, old metal dustbins and copious amount of washed sand on big canvases in our garages and hoiking them over to a gallery in New York to sell them for insane amounts of dosh, but then we thought better of cutting Mohammed Omar Khalil’s livelyhood.

We’re really good that way. That’s why we’re both Rotarians!


ZimSculpt is back in Bahrain!

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Zimbabwean sculptures in Bahrain

Frances and I enjoyed visiting the Zimbabwean Sculpture exhibition at Al Bareh Gallery a couple of nights ago, this time they have some 40 sculptures and I would like to own each and every one of them. Oh to be a millionaire! These are the times that give you the impetus to work harder so that you too can afford to acquire works of art to enjoy and share your home with.

We are fortunate enough to have bought a few pieces the last time they came to town, we have had those pieces for 2 years in our home and I frankly cannot imagine us being without them. They have become a part of our family.

Well, although we determined not to buy anything this time around, I fell in love with a mermaid and I just had to have her!

I would have dearly loved to buy a few other pieces, alas, I have to remind myself (rather sternly) that I do have a lot of expenditures this month that take precedence and I shall have to just remember them through the various pictures I have taken of them, and occasionally visit their website to remind myself of their beauty.

The exhibit is continuing until April 2nd, 2007 at Al Bareh, should you wish to visit. If you like the arts, believe me you won’t be disappointed.

Zimbabwe means great stone house; it is true that stone sculpture is the art that most represents the people of Zimbabwe. The works are chosen over a six month period, searching the country for the most dynamic, thought provoking pieces. Each sculpture has been masterfully executed in stone; Zimbabwe has one of the worlds most rich resources of minerals and stone deposits. The exuberance of the work, the vast varieties of stone and the great skill and imagination of the sculptors has led to many years of major exhibitions worldwide.

Over 40 stone sculptures will be exhibited from leading world renowned Zimbabwean sculptors in a range of different types of Serpentine stone.

Pieces on exhibition will range between medium to large scale that can be displayed indoors or outdoors, varying in style from abstract, to figurative, and semi-representative.
There will also be 10 Acrylic paintings, representing the life in Zimbabwe as seen by the local artists.

The exhibition will be inaugurated at 7pm on the 20th of March and will run until the 2nd of April,2007.

You can call the gallery on +973-1771 7707.

Well done Spring of Culture to have included this exhibition within your program.


Cultural Friday

We’re quite fortunate in Bahrain that we have a number of art galleries and exhibitions, so it’s easy to get in touch with various works of art and artists. It is even better that a number of private art galleries scour the world for interesting pieces to bring to the Bahraini connoisseur or collector, more importantly, these galleries actually play another very important role and that is the rapprochement of cultures thus literally bringing sometimes disparate peoples together either through personal contact or through the exhibited art.

I cannot remember a single week for the past few years devoid of such experiences, be they done in public or private art galleries. It is almost exactly the same in the music scene, although those need to increase in frequency and quality.

My wife and I were fortunate today to visit one of the leading private art galleries in town: Dar Al-Bareh who were hosting an exhibition of sculptures, textiles and furniture from Zimbabwe for the second year running.

I’ve always admired art in many of its forms, but sculpture is probably the most fascinating! It’s a touchable and caressable 3D form that leaves you in awe. Stone sculptures more than any other I think makes you marvel at the artist who can first of all see a shape in a rock, and then toils at it to bring that shape out into almost a living thing that gives the viewer immense pleasure.

At Dar Al-Bareh there were 170 pieces to admire, and admire you will! The sculptures there are fascinating and awe inspiring and that feeling hits you immediately you walk in the door! The forms exhibited there are a collection of the artistic labours of three generations of artists from the length and breadth Zimbabwe ably collected by Vivienne Prince who travels throughout Zimbabwe for 6 months every year looking for these sculptures in villages and towns and selects what she thinks the best and most representative to exhibit in galleries in Bahrain and Europe for the next 6 months. We have Ms. Hayfa Al-Jishi, the managing director of Dar Al-Bareh, to thank for bringing Vivienne and the Zimbabwean African art to Bahrain.

The exhibition just opened officially last Wednesday and will run until April 29th, 2004. You will do yourself a great favour by visiting, but don’t expect that you will be able to buy any of the sculptures at this late stage, they’re almost all sold! The prices are very reasonable, coupled with the beauty of what is on display, they don’t stay un-owned for long.

Fortunately Frances, Arif and I were banging on the gallery’s doors this morning waiting for it to open together with an American lady who was anxious to go in too.

We couldn’t leave of course without acquiring a few pieces! Frances bought the Sisters sculpture by Colleen Madamombe, while I bought two of Brian Watyoka creations: Wise Lady and Graceful.

Here are a few of the exhibits which jumped up and grabbed us!

Brian Watyoka's Graceful stone sculpture
Brian Watyoka’s Graceful stone sculpture
Brian Watyoka's Wise Lady stone sculpture
Brian Watyoka’s Wise Lady stone sculpture
Colleen Madamombe Sisters stone sculpture
Colleen Madamombe Sisters stone sculpture
Colleen Madamombe Friends stone sculpture
Colleen Madamombe Friends stone sculpture
Collins Masundo Wise Man stone sculpture
Collins Masundo Wise Man stone sculpture
Emmanuel Mutizwa Helping Hand stone sculpture
Emmanuel Mutizwa Helping Hand stone sculpture
Savi Chirwa Lovers stone sculpture
Savi Chirwa Lovers stone sculpture
Stanley Vono Serpant stone sculpture
Stanley Vono Serpant stone sculpture

Contacts: Dar Al-Bareh Art Gallery on +973-1-771 7707
Vivienne Prince website: zimsculpt.com

I must also tell you that Hayfa is my sister in-law, but that relationship didn’t influence this article at all. As both Frances and I love African art we couldn’t miss going to this exhibition, and this was (unfortunately for us) one of the few times we visited the gallery. Note to self: make sure that you visit every one there from now on!