Katara, the Cultural Village, proudly presents “I dream of Jeannie” by Iranian American artist, Eric Parnes which opens tonight at 7:30pm in Katara Gallery, Building 19, Katara. The exhibition which is curated by Sa’id Costa, Curator of Visual Arts Exhibitions and Educational Programs, will run until 24th November 2012 at Katara Gallery, Building 19, Katara.
The artist, Eric Parnes, also known as Eric Esmail Parnes uses a variety of mediums including mixed media objects and sculptures, paintings, video installations, photography, and unique materials. His work incorporates internationally-known logos and corporate symbols which reflect an evolving landscape of globalization. The pieces draw upon his cultural and ethnic heritage and Parnes has been praised for his exploration of Oriental imagery in both the West and the East.
Sa’id Costa, Curator of Visual Arts Exhibitions and Educational Programs said, “We are delighted to collaborate with such a talented young artist on this occasion. Eric Parnes work resonates with audiences in the Middle East; his work represents the challenges youth from a multi-cultural background face. His pieces capture modernism with an arabesque twist, producing a colorful, and eye catching array of works. Katara is committed to providing a platform for world class artists such as Eric Parnes, this exhibition is a testament of our commitment to educating and entertaining whilst building cultural bridges.”
Parnes has successfully coined and trademarked the term “Neo-Orientalism™” which he uses to refer to his individual style of art: “Neo Orientalism™, a term that seeks to explore a specific notation of aesthetic exchange between the East and the West within the framework of popular culture. Abbreviating the complex philosophy behind the artistic science, Neo Orientalism™ is about appropriating and examining both sides of the equation.
“As an artist who has always been fascinated by the imagery and meaning behind the folklore, customs and culture of my familial ancestry, I continue to discover and understand the Middle East’s tremendous influence on the human experience, and the Western world’s response in absorbing and translating these resources.”
He continued, “I am privileged to explore the intriguing underlying themes of the influential and enduring American popular culture phenomenon known as, “I Dream of Jeannie” at the Galleries of the Katara Cultural Village.”
In addition to the Neo Orientalism theme, the exhibition features “Dreaming of Jinn,” an iconic image of a Middle Eastern woman wearing the same veil worn by the show’s main character, Jeannie. The exhibition also features an installation of Barbie-style dolls sporting veils, miniature designer clothes, and boutique shopping bags which underline the two-way flow of consumer goods and their embedded cultural values.
I Dream of Jeannie was inspired by the late 1960’s phenomena in the USA which produced a powerful influence of visual and musical fantasy. I Dream of Jeannie is an American sitcom with a fantasy premise. The show starred blonde, blue-eyed, Barbara Eden as a 2,000-year-old genie and Larry Hagman as an astronaut who becomes her master, with whom she falls in love and eventually marries.
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