Artual Gallery hosts young artist Rayan Alshathry

‘How to Exit the Metal Room’ marks first solo show for talented newcomer

An exhibition of work by the exciting young artist Rayan Alshathry opened Artual Gallery. Titled ‘How to Exit the Metal Room’, the show represented the artist’s first solo exhibition and featured 10 paintings.

Aged just 19 and self-taught, Rayan is a fascinating young artist whose thought-provoking abstract artwork are fast becoming a talking point on the regional art scene. Working with oil sticks and paint, acrylic and crayons, he creates large-scale pieces in vibrant colours that are deep, dynamic and disordered in nature.

Born in London, Rayan Alshathry lives in Riyadh, but is well acquainted with Beirut, having regularly spent summers in Lebanon with his family which he still does today.

In his mind’s eye, Rayan sees the metal room, which is the theme for his exhibition, as a space without borders, conductive in nature, chaotic and moving at breakneck speed. The questions it prompts are seemingly random and yet not without relevance, ranging from ‘Where did I leave my umbrella?’ to ‘What if tables were used the other way around?’

Rayan said that his aim is to provoke his audience in the hope that they will view his work with a questioning eye, mirroring his own inquisitiveness, and come to their own conclusions about the art in front of them.

“When I paint, I like to ask the canvas a few questions. It answers them all, but it is up to my curiosity to dissect the answers and understand it,” he said. “I am intrigued by my sub-conscience, so I let it do the painting. I do so to know more about it. It has its own story and I want to let it speak.”

Hind Ahmad, Artual Gallery’s owner said she was delighted to have the opportunity to show Rayan’s work, adding that his young age, creative talent and approach to his work made him an ideal fit for the new space. “Artual is all about welcoming emerging artists and providing them with a platform on which they can display their work to a wider audience,” she said. “Seeking out untapped artistic potential is a passion of mine and with this in mind, I truly regard Rayan as a ‘Coup de Coeur’, from the power in his work to the vibrant colors he chooses to attract the viewer’s attention. I’m thrilled that we will be introducing his work to Beirut - a city well known for welcoming upcoming talent - in this first-time exhibition.”

About Artual Gallery

Founded by Hind Ahmad, Artual Gallery is a new, 800 sqm. space located in the downtown part of the city of Beirut, which has been set up with the aim of introducing international emerging and established artists to the MENA region, showcasing their work in solo exhibitions through collaborations with leading international galleries.