Najd Al Taher is the art world’s rising star you need to know about. Her mesmeric photographs feature social politics at play in a distinctly juxtaposed dark and vibrant color scheme that drives home a disrupted message of luxury consumerism. The young Kuwaiti has won the Crossway Foundation award twice and toured Japan and the US alongside other artists. The 23-year-old Al Taher, who graduated with honors from the American University of Kuwait in graphic design, showcased her Fulfillment exhibition in Kuwait at the Dar Al Fanoon gallery last year. Vogue Arabia speaks to Al Taher to unpack her vision of “the new dream” for Arab youth.
Al Taher started playing with cameras when she was a little girl. “Actually, it started with videography,” she shares. “I began creating short films and videos because maybe I thought I’d have more flexibility in delivering my voice or story through video,” she adds. Over time however, she determined that images had a more dominant power and so she began to work on her technique until she reached a stage where photography became synonymous with her identity.
Through her work, Al Taher’s eye became fixated on the culture of consumption. “People tend to constantly give up so much in their lives for “the new dream” without thinking of the consequences,” shares Al Taher. “There’s a fine line between wanting and needing. Yet people continue to chase after what they want and lose their identity in the process,” she adds.
“The offerings the world is tempting us with, and being torn between following temptation or holding onto sanity.”
Fulfillment: Imitation of Life
“The idea behind this piece is the conclusion of giving into all temptations, and losing balance, further on one’s identity, and slowly fading away.”
Najd Al Taher Takes the Vogue Arabia Quick-Fire Q&A:
Most worn item in your wardrobe is…
My vintage hat.
One childhood memory that still holds major impact for you…
Discovering fashion and most importantly style through my mother’s wardrobe. Her style choices and the way she combines colors in her outfits always have and still amaze and inspire me.
What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome in your career?
Having people accept me as a young artist, and accept my point of view.
What message do you want to send to the world through your work?
The importance of one finding one’s true self and purpose in life in a world that is filled with seductions and temptations.
The Best Compliment You’ve Ever Received Is…
“Your work moved me.” For me, succeeding in transferring my feelings and emotions to someone who’s just viewing my work is the ultimate success.
Vogue Arabia is… the future.
Which photograph by Najd Al Taher is your favorite? Let us know via Twitter @VogueArabia.