What’s New Mondays

On Mondays, we practice critique skills with new artworks in different mediums.  Today we’ll look at a project by Lebanese graffiti artists Mohamed and Omar Kabbani.

The piece is called “Operation Salam,” and it is a series of painted rooftops which create the Arabic word “salam,” meaning peace.  The buildings are located in the city of Tripoli, Lebanon, where a civil war has caused fighting for many years.

When giving a critique, it’s polite to give both positive and negative feedback.  I’ll start and end with positive comments, and give any suggestions for improvement in the middle.

First, I think this is a fantastic concept.  The artists chose to create their piece in a part of the city where the fighting has been the most intense. Writing the word “peace” in a place that has experienced a lot of violence is intriguing and ironic.

Here is an image of the word “salam” in Arabic from Wikimedia. Although I cannot read Arabic, I can recognize the shape well enough.  I think the artists did a good job creating a shape that people could read from far away, and I’m guessing the font might create some distortion of the letters here.
220px-Salaam

The one thing I might suggest to improve this piece is the color choice. Although the bright green color really stands out against the color of the buildings, it does not feel like a peaceful color to me.  It makes me think of chemicals or radiation.  I think a more soothing color like blue or a pastel color would have been more successful, but perhaps they didn’t have many options for paint.

I also really like the way these brothers documented their piece by using drone photography.  The videos they created are gorgeous and create a sense of wonder as they zoom out into the sky.

What do you think of this piece?  Do you agree with my critique?  Do you have questions about the vocabulary?  Do you want to suggest a piece for me to critique next week? Leave a comment below!

I’ve chosen 5 words or phrases for you to focus on today.  They are in bold.  If you don’t know them, look up the meaning, synonyms, antonyms, and other forms of these words.  You can find links to Merriam-Webster dictionary sites at the bottom of this page.

To watch more videos of the artists at work, or read the original article, written by Eoghan Macguire on November 24, 2017, click the link below:
http://www.cnn.com/style/article/peace-graffiti-lebanon-operation-salam/index.html

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Jessica

I help artists and designers with their English so they can focus on being creative and changing the world.

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