For the longest time, art in Saudi Arabia meant flamboyant calligraphy, or paintings of eagles and horses. When galleries began opening up, the scene was definitely not ‘happening’, and you could count the number of exhibitions taking place with your fingers. As well, there were a number of private exhibitions in embassies, consulates, and residencies, although one never really heard about these.
Today in the art scene in Saudi Arabia, nepotism reigns. As local artist and blogger Soraya Darwish puts it, ‘One of the main issues plaguing the local art scene is that an elitist group of artists promotes only what they like. It’s not about the art, but who you know’.
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