Month: November 2015

The power of the small screen

Iconic TV series Mad Men, which ended its seven season run earlier this year, was particularly appealing because of its exquisite set design. In order to capture the distinctive aesthetics of the 1960s, set designer Claudette Didul-Mann undertook painstaking research, outfitting leading character Don Draper’s office with vintage furniture pieces by the likes of Herman […]

The aesthetics of tragedy

Iraqi-American artist Sama Alshaibi explores war, displacement and mass migration through deceptively beautiful photographs, videos and installations At first glance, Iraqi-American artist Sama Alshaibi’s photographs are arrestingly beautiful, like something from a particularly off-beat fashion shoot. These decorative aesthetics are deceptive. Through artfully composed shots, Alshaibi uses the human body as a conduit to address complex, […]

The art of Warner Bros. Cartoons

Caricatures scribbled everywhere. Firecrackers tossed in peopled rooms. An alarm system letting everyone know the boss was coming — just so everyone could run back to work. The artists of the Warner Bros. cartoon studio were notorious for their practical jokes and spirit of camaraderie. All the in house fun paid off. The cartoons produced […]

The secret playlist

Selections explores the way in which music influences 10 contemporary artists’ studio practices in a special series curated by Danna Lorch. RIFFS AND RECORDS: MUSIC’S ROLE IN REGIONAL ART Visiting an artist’s studio is pure voyeurism. There is an intimacy to stepping into a secret and tenuous world of half-formed work built on creative chances, […]

Marvels of design in Milan

Does it make sense to discuss the Salone del Mobile from the perspective of nationalities this year? Judging by the buzz about the different pavilions in the run up to the April Milan Design Week, it probably does. There was a high concentration of creativity in town. The British capacity for inventiveness was confirmed once […]

Spherical points of light

“There’s nothing that remains anymore of my home or my office or my studio,” says Michael Anastassiades, gesturing around the smart central London HQ of his eponymous lighting and design brand. “It has all blended into one. It started off just me working on my own, and it grew and grew.” We’re talking in his […]

Andrée Sfeir-Semler

Andrée Sfeir-Semler changed the face of Lebanon’s art scene – and perceptions of Arab art worldwide – when she opened her eponymous gallery in Beirut 10 years ago. She shares her thoughts on what draws her to the artists she represents, the reason she gave up art to become a gallerist and the growth of Arab art […]


Pascal Odille, a very close friend, called me last month to tell me enthusiastically, “Rima, I have an interview with Marina Abramović for Selections.” As I waited impatiently to receive the article, I felt inspired to go back and watch a number of Marina’s works online. What I found was a true artist with the […]