“The principle is simple. If someone has a gun and they point it at you, either you steal theirs or you get one yourself. That’s what I believe. So with this body of work I bought a gun. Now we are equal.”
Bahraini-born Saudi national, Faisal Samra graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He worked as an art and graphic design consultant for the Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris), and later a stage designer for Saudi television. In 2004 he taught in the Fine Arts department of the Amman University in Jordan and obtained his first artist residency in Paris, at the Cite International des Arts, in 2005, which he continues to be a part of today.
After having lived and worked in Paris, New York, Beirut, and spending time in Marrakesh and the far-east, Samra describes himself as a ‘nomad wandering through time’. The cultural amalgam of experiences has led to diversity in his artistic practice. Fusion has become characteristic of Faisal Samra’s work. He combines elements of digital photography, painting, sculpture, video and performance as he tackles issues of visual culture and imagery, incorporating references to historical and contemporary realities. His work denounces the visual culture systems of mass media, advertisements or political communication and is opposed to their large-scale manipulation.
Faisal Samra has taken part in numerous group shows, including “Word Into Art” at the British Museum (London and Dubai), “Languages of the Desert: Contemporary Arab Art from the Gulf States” (Abu Dhabi, Paris and Kunstmuseum, Bonn), and “Traversée”, (Paris, Cairo, Rabat). He has had solo exhibitions in Middle-Eastern and European institutions alike, and is in the collections of The British Museum (London) National Museum (Mexico City), Modern Art Museum (Cairo), Enrico Navarra (Paris), Saeb Eigner (London), Sheikha Paula Al Sabah (Kuwait), among others. Samra has participated in Biennial’s in Singapore and Cairo, and is a jury member of the Alexandria Biennale, Egypt.