By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter
Renowned Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli’s first ever exhibition in the Middle East named ‘Museum of Crying Women’ will be open for the public from today at the Qatar Museums Authority ( QMA) Gallery at Katara.
The exhibition has brought together the most striking portraits of iconic female figures of the last century including Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor and Lady Gaga, in a celebration of femininity.
The exhibition has been created in dialogue with Hans-Ulrich Obrist, co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London and Rem Koolhaas, founder of architecture firm OMA, and the artist himself.
The show will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue produced by Kaleidoscope Press. Presented by QMA, the exhibition will be on view until November 30.
Addressing a press conference yesterday at QMA gallery at Katara, Vezzoli said that he considered the project as a dialogue between three friends. “As a person I am not interested in the history of politicians but I am more interested in history of emotions,” he said.
Jean Paul Engelen, director of Public Art at QMA, as well as Hans-Ulrich Obrist, one of the fellow artists in the project were also present during the meeting.
When asked about the idea of picturing women crying, Vezzoli said that celebrities have a private life too. He said “In many parts of the world women used to engage in needle work which is for me an emotional painting. It is a counter part for their public identity. The private persona has emotions and those emotions are expressed in private and the tears represent those emotions.” He added that Italy has one of the highest numbers of women being killed. “The tears represent all such atrocities all around the world which we generally do not see,” he added.
Adorned with Vezzoli’s signature of an embroidered glittering tear, the show will display portraits, embroideries and needleworks of Hollywood legends, first ladies, fashion icons and pop culture celebrities intended to reflect the drama of the female divided identities, and show the anguish between living a public and private life.
In a space reminiscent of the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace de Versailles, the exhibition will include a new series of artworks inspired by Oum Kulthom, one of the most admired female Arab singers and a bronze sculpture of Sophia Loren.
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