Faisal Samra

The work of Faisal Samra, now essentially based on photography and video, denounces the visual culture systems of mass media, advertisements or political communication and is opposed to their large scale manipulation. In the Distorted Reality series, started in 2005, he has been documenting his performances generally as large scale triptychs with a polished image, wearing masks, animals, fabrics or bandages and all kinds of artefacts twisting his face until it disappears. The viewer always implicitly feels the discomfort brought by the shock of traditions faced with the contemporary world and the difficulty to find one’s place there.

Born in 1956 in Bahrain, of Saoudi nationality, Faisal Samra graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He then worked as an art and graphic design consultant for the Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris), a graphic designer for the Arabian Bechtel Company in Jubail and a stage designer for Saoudi television. In 2004 he taught in the Fine Arts department of the Amman University in Jordan and obtained his first artist residency in Paris in 2005.

Faisal Samra has taken part in numerous group shows including "Words Into Art" at the British Museum (London and Dubai), "Languages of the Desert: Contemporary Arab Art from the GULF States" (Abu Dhabi, Paris and at the Kunstmuseum in Bonn), and in 2008/2009 "Traversée", (Paris, Cairo, Rabat). His work has also been shown in solo exhibitions in Beirut, Paris and Dubai and at the S. Shoman Foundation, Darat Al Funnun in Amman (Jordan) in 2007.