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Artist of the Month

In the Limelight

Alaa Attoun

Born in Amman, Jordan, in 1994, Alaa as an eight-month-old baby made his return to Jerusalem, where he grew up and currently resides. He received his BA in contemporary arts from Dar Al-Kalima College for Arts and Culture in Bethlehem. After graduating, he worked as an art instructor in Jerusalem schools and as an assistant art coordinator at Al-Markaz Contemporary Art Gallery, Jerusalem, in addition to assisting with the installation of several art exhibitions held in Ramallah and Jerusalem. Today Alaa teaches drawing art at Dar Al-Kalima University.

Alaa draws using pencil as his main medium and constantly explores his relationship with place, focusing on telling stories through his artworks. His hyperrealism style in drawing and performance photography allows him to dive deep into his subjects, reflecting soul and profound emotion.

Alaa has participated in group exhibitions, including the Ramallah Art Fair, Zawyeh Gallery, 2021; Where To? – an exhibition of the winning works of the Ismail Shammout Fine Art Award, Fifth Edition, Dar Al-Kalima, 2019; Dream, Al-Markaz Contemporary Art Gallery, Jerusalem, 2018; and Imago Mundi project exhibition Mediterranean Routes, Palermo, Italy, 2017.

Alaa won third place in the Karima Abboud competition for photography, third edition, organized by Dar Al-Kalima, Bethlehem. He was part of a performance by the Iranian-Canadian artist Gita Hashemi in Beit Jala in 2016. He also participated in Hidden Dimensions, an exhibition within the Art and Resistance Conference in 2016.

The artwork titled Jerusalem – Haifa and Back is a drawing project in which Alaa used pencil on paper to capture a few of the everyday lived moments in both Haifa and Jerusalem, highlighting the cultural differences and the effect of the occupation on the details of both places.

In the performance photography project titled Seen, Mashhad, Alaa wears a black garment with long, extended sleeves, creating a serialist scene that highlights impotence and resistance at the same time.

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