We are proud to present a new artist to FEN called Eric Robert Parnes, here is some brief information on Eric:
1979 Born in United States. The multi-media work of Eric Robert Parnes incorporates both his background as an American Iranian male and the history of images from the millennium forward. His two and three dimensional works all align themselves with an intentional revision of the ways in which grapheme have driven war, religion, and fashion through time. By appropriating and re-contextualizing these symbols and signs, Parnes has inverted their meaning; and by doing so become a provocateur of the highest order. Parnes resides in the Lower East Side in New York City.
“Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll is in every language”. A quote by one of our customers who saw Eric’s neon work, its so true.
FEN has two of these unique neon artworks, one in white and one in red. Please click on our website for more information.
The historian Arnold Toynbee has described Afghanistan as a “roundabout of the ancient world” due to the masses of people that have passed through this region over the centuries. In modern times too, many of the world’s armies have passed through temporarily establishing control over this region, and still it refuses to be colonized. At Fen we have in the form of carpets, better known as ‘war rugs’ evidence of one of one of these armies – the Soviet Army’s effect on the region. Weaved in wonderful colours, craftsmen use this age old tradition of carpet making to tell modern stories, and document the weapons and sometimes the effects of these weapons used during the nine-year conflict (1979-1988). Nowadays the carpets being weaved have images of American weapons such as M-16’s or Black-hawks. Some of the war rugs have a flower weaved amongst all the weapons as a sign of hope. Perhaps one day Afghanistan’s carpet weavers will go back to weaving just flowers, landscapes and beautiful patterns.
More on war rugs on this informative blog, click here
This is another poem from that inspiring book that I talked about in my earlier post. A book called “Modern poetry of the Arab world” translated by Abdullah-al Udhari. This time the poem is by Adonis. I really like this poem but Im not sure I quite understand what he was trying to say, Kate and I both have two completely different interpretations of this poem. Perhaps you can tell us what you get out of it?
A coffin bearing the face of a boy
Written on a belly of a crow
A wild beast hidden in a flower
Breathing with the lungs of a lunatic:
This is it
This is the Twentieth Century.
One of our favourite things to do is finding and promoting young and unknown artists. On one of our walkabouts we came across the work of Zefrino, a Mozambican artist who uses waste products, specifically old aluminum pot lids and turns them into very interesting, curious looking faces, that have been popular with our customers and also a great conversation starter for people coming into Fen.
Up-cycling is something which I have also dabbled in with the making of my magic rings. To make these little beauties I use scraps of fabric and buttons and bits previously discarded. Thanks to places like Etsy (www.etsy.com) I have realised that there are whole communities out there up-cycling and creating new and beautiful things.
Who says that prisoners are hopeless, thoughtless & heartless criminals? In Syria, some of the prisoners have a patient & creative side to them, so much so that one of the prisons has opened a shop within the prison. A shop dedicated to bead work by inmates. So instead of pumping iron, joining a gang or trying to break out, they spend their time making all sorts of beautiful things from beads. They make bags, wall hangings, lamps and these very interesting purses. These particular purses were made especially for Kate & myself, it has both our names in Arabic. The lady who used to help around at my grandmothers (Zahra Akbik, May God rest her soul) house had a son in prison and when I saw her purse that had a pattern of a gun and an “I love you mum” written on it I just had to ask her to make some for us. So the next time she went to visit her son she put in our request and a week later they were made. We had about 10 made but now we only have a couple left in FEN but im trying to order some more as they have been very popular. Some come with patterns of guns, some with flowers, flying birds and even Quranic verses.
If Damien Hirst put his name on this it would be in the Tate.
For us this is art, anything creative that is made by hand is art, no matter who created it.
From Louis Vuitton’s Voodoo Shoes and ‘grass skirts’, to the colourful prints used by Emilio Pucci, Issey Miyake and Mui Mui (to name a few…), the rage this summer is not only colour but incorporating the positive vibrations found from global exotic cultures along with our everyday wear. Mixing it up, something which Hadba always encouraged me to do in my work is the way forward this summer, and for me, always – wearing a little story on your finger and piece of history in your ear together with an abaya reworked to make it look more now, or African print skirt with a seriously tailored jacket.
For me, the ultimate summer accessory is one that comes from traveling and can only be found from the highest mountain, oldest desert or hidden shops from an ancient souk. Going to these places provides a tale to go along with a piece of clothing or accessory, an account beyond ordinary, where really creative ideas come from.
How to make this dream work faced with realities of everyday life, the economic crisis and what not? The answer my dear is quite elementary: Fen treasures. And if you can’t easyjet it to Berlin, internet shop it – we will be more than happy to sell an anecdote along with it.