Monday, April 13, 2009

Artist Behind Rihanna Portrait Speaks

A lot of people are making a big deal out of pop artist Sham Ibrahim's portrait of Rihanna. Sham held a press conference last weekend to publicly reveal the portrait made from the beaten and battered face of Rihanna.

It's art and he seems to be coming from a true place.

Sham told us:

"I am saddened that people do not realize that I made this portrait because of all the relentless media attention surrounding the incident. I was hoping people would see that because we as a society have given this so much attention, we have put it on the front covers of magazines, on television, so, why not put it on a canvas and hang it on a wall? Obviously it's important to everyone, so why shouldn't it be made into art?

But, it seems a lot of people think I'm a sick weirdo. Especially because of my comments. But, truthfully, I am an artist and I do not draw something if I don't think the shapes and colors are interesting. And, I am not into deep meanings. I would be lying if I said the piece was meant to symbolize this or that. It's just a picture that is meant to be hung on a wall. That's it. If people react to it, THEY give it meaning... As an artist it is my place to simply draw the picture, not to add a "deep meaning" to it.

I feel terrible for what happened to Rihanna and to any victim of domestic violence. I do not condone violence and I am completely against any person or animal. In fact, I am totally against it.

Art should create discussion and reactions from people. The fact remains I am an artist. That is MY purpose in life. That is MY job. That is why I did this Rihanna portrait. I am glad people are reacting and discussing this. Maybe that is a good thing....

And, for the record I am NOT profiting from this. The print sold for $100. The gallery takes 1/2. And, it cost me $50 to print. So, I broke even. Regardless, when I pick up my check I am donating the $50 from my Rihanna portrait to a domestic violence non-profit organization because I think it's important to be part of the solution."

Hopefully, that answered some of your questions.

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