Sadik Kwaish Alfraji: Dictators are stupid

Sadik Kwaish Alfraji: Dictators are stupidSadik Kwaish Alfraji: Dictators are stupid

Part of the animation "River in the South" / Sadik Kwaish Alfraji /2019 / Black and white / 5:05 minutes

Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Iraqi artist,works in the field of multimedia. He is a photographer, animator, video producer and installer who is known for creating "existentialist" works with dark and shadowy faces that speak of human weakness.

Alfraji was born in 1960 in Baghdad. He received his bachelor of arts degree from the Baghdad Academy of Arts. Prior to that, he had received training in printing and painting. Alfraji learned art shortly after Saddam Hussein came to power. Like many other artists, he realized that the Ba'ath party was trying to use art and culture for political purposes. At that time, Iraqi artists began to play with their concepts and spread their protest messages in abstract ways.

He believes dictators are stupid.

Alfraji, a young artist at the time, was working as an animator on Iraqi television. And that sparked his lifelong interest in animation and multimedia arts. During the Iran-Iraq War, he published an etching collection of war mentally ill people and an art book called Heads Without Body.

Alfraji left Iraq for political reasons in the 1990s and went to the Netherlands, where he obtained citizenship and at the same time continued his studies in graphics.

His work has been exhibited in many galleries in the Middle East, Europe and the United States, including the British Museum, the Baghdad National Museum of Modern Art, the Baghdad Art Center, the Jordanian National Gallery of Fine Arts, the Novosibirsk State Museum of Art in Russia, the Cluj Napoca Museum in Romania, Los Angeles Museum of Art and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.

As it is known, his works of art have been created under the influence of literature, philosophy and expressionist style. Shaded faces, faceless bodies and distinct backgrounds are the features of his works.

 Between 2012 and 2015, he received prestigious awards such as the Dubai Middle East Artist of the Year Award, the Rockefeller Foundation of Italy Award and a grant from the Mondrian Fund in Amsterdam.

Prepared and arranged by: Narges Sahebkhtiari