Artist: Ihab Ali
Exhibition: Eye Witness
Media: Dry wall, black sheeting, burnt car, property lights
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
About the Artist
Ihab Ali is a third year undergraduate at CSULB and is working towards a BFA in Ceramics. He is originally from Damascus where he lived for 14 years and then came to America. Ihab stated that he didn’t really do any other activities other than art and when he has spare time, he goes to the studio to work. When listening to him speak, you can tell he has a lot of passion for his work which mostly focuses on memories and movements in Syria.
Walking into the exhibit, I was pretty scared because it looked very dark and there was a ‘viewer discretion’ sign on the door. When I first walked in it was a sort of maze and I was very afraid something was going to pop out. Lucky nothing popped out but instead, the maze portrayed a scene from a war stricken area. There were bullet holes and blood stains on the wall as well as a burnt car and what looked like an abandoned bedroom. The media was mostly dry wall to create the different rooms with bullet holes and bloodstains along them.
This exhibit was created to use art as a way to portray the troubles that are occurring in the Middle East. It forced viewers to be apart of the experience and display the problems occurring in other parts of the world. With Ihab’s background and his memories in Syria, he was able to evoke emotion and display the wreckage of war in a way only someone with that past could.
Synthesis / My Experience
I thought it was a very cool exhibit because instead of just looking at a painting or a piece of work, you actually got to experience it. I think it made the exhibit stand out that much more because at each turn in the maze, you were on your toes. I liked how Ihab’s work tried to show Westerners what is happening in other countries from a personal point of view and letting us come to our own conclusions rather than telling us what we should think.