Meshal Al-Obaidallah

 Detail of Meshal's  Shimagh Ajyal

Detail of Meshal's Shimagh Ajyal

Meshal Al-Obaidallah is a Saudi Arabian/American artist who was born in Washington D.C. and currently lives and works out of Los Angeles. Through art, Meshal explores the concept of redesign. He re-imagines and reconstructs everyday objects prevalent throughout his community, reflecting on his own perception of these objects. Central to every work of his art is an idea, ranging from social commentary to cultural references. Meshal states that these ideas are the beginning of his creative process and an inseparable part of the artwork itself.

In his Shimagh series, Meshal redesigns the traditional Middle Eastern headdress to convey a message; each work in this series holds a different meaning. Shimagh Ajyal embraces the transition and generational shift in the Middle East–the bulk of the Arab world’s total population is children and young adults. This work embodies a collision of generations: from the older monochromic generation to a younger, more diverse one. The colorful redesign maintains the traditional shimagh’s aesthetics but does so in its own distinct hues. Shimagh Ayjal thus becomes a visual representation of the population and a snapshot of today’s society as its traditional red design cedes to the fresh multi-colored design, which constitutes of 60% of this shimagh’s surface. Each work is digitally designed and remastered and printed in the dimensions of a typical shimagh to retain the feel and allure of the traditional fabric.

Meshal’s conceptual work make up an ever-growing series. His works have been publicly exhibited across the Arabian Gulf region and across the United States and United Kingdom and published in various publications. Recently, his Shimagh series was acquired by the Greenbox Museum in Amsterdam.

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