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Is Iranian & Arab Art The Next Big Thing?

 - Oct 11, 2008
References: online.wsj & telegraph
Despite the political tension, art is breaking down barriers between the east and west as Iran and various Arab countries are becoming the hottest new thing in contemporary art auctions.

International collectors are discovering a creative wealth that been mostly untapped before, and they like what they are finding.

Want proof? Sotheby’s will hold its first ever sale devoted exclusively to Middle Eastern contemporary art in London on October 23. The pieces come from Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and other middle eastern countries.

In fact, a conference organised by ArtTactic was just held at Asia House in London that tackles this question, "is contemporary Middle Eastern art the next big thing?"

The answer is, Yes! According to the latest reports from ArtTactic, an online research facility that publishes analysis of emerging auction markets, "the volume of modern and contemporary Arab and Iranian art at auction has increased from £1million in 2006 to £17million so far in 2008, a figure that could more than double by the end of the year."

The report shares that the average prices have increased by 260% over the past two years.

So when you decide to go on vacation to Egypt or somewhere in the middle east, I would advise you to stock up on some art because apparently, art does blossom in the desert.

The gallery above shows some of the pieces on the aforementioned Sotheby’s sale, such as ‘The Loss of Our Identity #6,’ 2007 (pictures #2) by Iranian artist Sadegh Tirafkan, "Homage to the Moon" from 2008 by Iranian calligrapher Mohammad Ehsai (picture #3), "The Old Poet & The Babe" by Iran’s Farhad Moshiri (picture #4), ‘Maalloula’ (picture #5) by Louai Kayyali from Syria, "Al Bas’ (picture #6) by Zena Al Khalil from Lebanon, "Portrait of a girl" (picture #7) by Suad Al-Attar from Iraq, "Untitled" (pictures #8) by Fateh Moudarres from Syria, "Untitled (Ballet Dancers)" ([icture #9) by Egyptian Seif Wanly, and finally picture #10 is "Le Jardin D’eden (The garden of Eden)" by Aly Ben Salem from Tunis.