I attended Fontbonne’s gallery opening last night. Mounted on the walls was Muhammad Alhawagri’s “Occurrences [reduced]”, a brilliant series of black-and-white photographs that aimed to capture the essence of everyday objects. While art is most often subjective, and Alhawagri’s work isn’t exactly an exception, there is comfort in knowing that perhaps these objects and subjects are things that everyone has encountered in their everyday lives. While each individual looks at the painting and finds their own meaning in it, this is indisputable: we are familiar with the object/subject, even though we don’t quite know what it is.
I was lucky enough to be accompanied by my sister and my father, who were eager to experience a Fontbonne gallery opening, and a few of my friends–fellow Fontbonnians. As we strolled through the gallery, taking time to access each photograph, we shared our insights and contemplated–just what was the object portrayed in the photograph? Laughingly, we scolded ourselves for wanting to know more about the abstracted object. In trying to decipher the contents of each work, we realized that maybe that was the point–the essence of the photographs didn’t rely on what the subject was, they relied on the lines, shapes, and shadows created by the subject. What you were left with was something else entirely.
The photographs succeeded in prompting me to appreciate the ordinary, to explore and examine something more closely that I had maybe never looked twice at. The next time I’m struggling to find inspiration, I’ll think about Occurrences [reduced].
Muhammad Alhawagri is self-taught, which makes it all the more impressive. He has shown work all over St. Louis. Here is a link to his website if you want explore further: http://www.alhawagri.com.
You should definitely make your way to the art gallery. The exhibition is open until March 24th, so you have plenty of time to see Alhawagri’s work, and form your own theory 🙂
I highly recommend attending any showings that you can. Even if you’re not an art major, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the experience. Grab a couple of friends, indulge in some refreshments, and share your opinions.