Wk 13- Artist Conversation-Ihab Ali

Artist: Ihab Ali

Exhibition: Eyewitness

Media: dry wall, car, burlap, black sheeting

Gallery:CSULB School of Art, Murilyn Werby Gallery

Website:no website


About the Artist

Ihab is an Arab American from Damascus. He lived there for 14 years before moving to America where he has since lived for 11 years. He is a ceramic artist with a BFA in ceramics, and this is his senior show. In his free time he likes to go to his studios and do more art. We basically got the feeling that art is his life, and we even hard a hard time getting him to tell us his favorite food, which is pizza with pineapples. His work explores the ideas and memories he has of his homeland.

Formal Analysis

As mentioned above the media used is dry wall, burlap, and lots of black sheeting. The exhibit consisted of a dark setup, almost looking like an underground tunnel. It had a scary feel to it, and all the pieces in the exhibit represented different parts of Ihab’s memories of his homeland. The sketches in the wall were very staccato and abrupt, most likely to best imitate what it would have looked like in the war torn times of his home.

Content Analysis

When creating this exhibit, Ihab had flashbacks or memories of what it was like growing up in Syria. He described it as a theatrical piece of reality that potrays poverty destruction and abandonment. The artist included what he had seen on tv or the media, as well as pieces of what he could remember. Ihab’s aim was to try to show western cultures what is was like to be in Syria during that time.


What I took most from this exhibit was the fact that Ihab was trying to educate Americans. There are always a lot of stereotypes surrounding his people as are there stereotypes about everything and everyone in America. Maybe if we were a little more educated we wouldn’t be so quick to judge and assume things about people. This resonated with me because being in sorority always comes with this negative stereotype that we pay for our friends, and that we are all stuck up and rude. If people only knew the truth about our organizations maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to stereotype, and that is what Ihab’s goal was through this exhibit.


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