Yemeni artist’s taboo breaking photos in London

//Forgotten Queen 


//La vie m'est insupportable


//Smiling woman 


//Fatima ll


//Watani Habibi (my beloved land)

Ibi Ibrahim’s thought-provoking work reacts to the conservatism of traditional Islam and brings to the fore an art that speaks out for gender equality, sexual freedom and positive body image. His photographs, exhibited from 28 February through 2 March 2014 as part of the Art14 London Art Fair, come from several recent series, which tackle the notion of absence and lack of liberation.

Ibi Ibrahim, a Yemeni visual artist, writer and film director, was born in the United States in 1987 and raised in the Middle East. Much of Ibrahim’s work circles and reacts to his conservative Islamic upbringing and explores issues such as feminism, gender equality and sexual identity, often considered as taboo in Muslim societies.

With his unfiltered knack for storytelling and a clear passion for monochromatic photography, the artist gets daringly vulnerable as he translates his experiences into photographs.

Art14 surveys Ibrahim's works over the past four years, highlighting the artist's affiliation to monochromatic compositions featuring self-portraits along side portrayals of young women and men contesting a traditional Muslim space. Photographs from Ibrahim's highly acclaimed Social Codesseries will be on display, from which his photograph Fatima secured Ibrahim the 2010 GLAADOUT Best Emerging Artist Award. Featuring two veiled women seated hand-in-hand in an intimate moment of subtle proximity, the camera seems to quietly consider the relationship of its subjects.

//Yemeni Orgasm 

One of the pieces to be exhibited is 'Yemeni Orgasm' (2012), in which the artist is seen against a wooden fence with a suggestive position of his right hand on his crotch and his left hand on his chest. The scene could be an expression of pain and heartbreak, but the title prompts us to read it as a metonym for the sexual climax; the act itself is only alluded to, happening elsewhere.



Ibi Ibrahim’s photographs will be on show from 28 February through 2 March 2014 at the Jamm Gallery booth C8, Art14, London Art Fair, Olympia Grand Hall, London, UK.

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