The art scene of Manhattan was invited to celebrate the newest exhibition ‘OPEN VERSUS CLOSED’ by Saudi artist, Abdullah Qandeel. The exclusive exhibition was held at the highest viewpoints in New York City, the prestigious 50 Million Dollars Penthouse of the Trump Soho Hotel. The raw space which is soon-to-be one of the most luxurious living spaces in New York city was the perfect location to present Qandeel’s abstract oil on canvas paintings, with the Freedom Tower as the perfect backdrop. Guests were introduced to the carefully curated artwork while watching the beautiful sunset at the trump top floor, Sipping cocktails by Belvedere vodka and Perrier and enjoying music of DJ Alice Q.
AF: Can you explain a bit about your approach/process?
AQ: My approach is similar that of a honey badger. I stand up for what’s right, awesome and greater.
I always bite more than I can chew and this show was the largest show I’ve done, it’s my fifth show. My approach to choose what is right in the content, what messages do I give out and why?
To create something awesome you must place a crown on your head and say to yourself “I am the greatest because of the impact I’m going to have on humanity”.
To be greater means you must place more effort and press on your “self”. Yourself is your worst enemy. The battle is never ending but you must always persevere otherwise, approach or no approach you will lose.
Under the precedence that “the message is more important than the medium” it is important to select the highest quality materials and always consider longevity as a prime aspect of quality.
I use my God gifted steady hand to create linear human perfection. That’s one of my obsessions.
On a mental note, I only can create when I have a clear head without any substance abuse. It is a common misconception and I personally find the clarity very much connected with the truth, if you cannot see clearly then how can you portray the truth?
AF: Has living in New York influenced your work?
AQ: Living in New York has changed everything. I could come up with a few descriptions about the city and its impacts on people however best is to describe it as the ultimate breeding ground for self-belief.
The rate of interaction here is so high that you tend to learn more and at a faster pace, in today’s world in order to compete one of the best qualities you could master is “the speed of learning”.
I opened my first studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn in 2011 which then moved to SoHo, I’ve been influenced by the many different scenes present in this flourishing city. New York allows you to be an artist, a creative it allows you to earn respect from expression, this is what’s key about this city. It encourages you to be different, to think different as Apple Computer’s say.
AF: Where are you finding ideas for your work these days?
AQ: Ideas are not something an individual has control over; they are a result of exposure.
I’ve been exposed to a great deal of education from the oldest school in England (King’s School Canterbury) to the toughest military academy in the world (Royal Military Academy Sandhurst) of which is a result of my Fathers hard work and this education has enabled me to form my own set of values that I cherish and find as a means of existence in this world of 7.14 Billion people.
When it comes down to my art my ideas are universal and simple, I just focus on subject matters that are necessary to discuss today and are important for positive social development. I have an opportunity and a moral obligation as an Artist to intelligently entice a dialogue, a pure dialogue that cannot be influenced by anyone. I am not worried about ideas; I am focused on finding a beautiful form in order for the ideas to shine.
AF: Anything other shows coming up?
AQ: My next show is either in Europe or the Middle East, follow me.