Talal Al Najjar (b.1999, Dubai) is an Emirati artist based in Chicago and Dubai, working towards his BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2021). He is an interdisciplinary artist who works in and combines; painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, video, and sound. Coming from a multicultural (Emirati and American) background, his work explores a variety of subjects covering cultural heritage, society, history, youth, identity, and materiality –he uses and merges these themes in unconventional ways. He has exhibited work at Jameel Arts Centre, Sikka Art Fair, and the Chicago Art Book Fair.
About the Artworks
Talal Al Najjar’s Tuwatam series present a body of sculptural works that explore subjects of global histories and identity. The series questions the significance and cultural relationships attached to historical artifacts found in the MENA region, contrasting them with the value of medieval and contemporary art from the West. Cultural imagery that would conventionally be separated are put into one context, one body. This dialogue between the old and the new draws attention to what histories (ancient, contemporary, and everything in between) are deemed important and in what way.
2020, Youth Takeover: Reassigning Values, Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai