Ethnic profiling is business as usual in the contemporary art market. Artists from outside the Euro-American sphere, if they want to be noticed, are required to a) present evidence of their origins, like a badge, in their work, and b) package that identity in forms, styles and images that the West can readily recognize.
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates — The Emirati artist Hassan Sharif (1951-2016), who has a sensational retrospective at the Sharjah Art Foundation here on the edge of the Persian Gulf, was a born contrarian. Working in a range of seemingly unrelated media and styles, he made art that belongs to no locatable culture, or maybe to several. Dodging definitions, he referred to himself, half-jokingly, as a nomad, though he didn’t live like one. Apart from a few youthful years in England, he spent his entire life in the Gulf region, where he is revered today as a pioneer.
Full article: The New York Times