Creating contemporary art in a fiercely traditional country is hard enough; layering it with political and religious messages is brave, to say the least. But Abdulnasser Gharem, a former military man, isn’t backwards in coming forwards.

Abdulnasser Gharem runs his finger over one of the artworks that have made him the highest-selling contemporary Arab artist in the world. “Camouflage” is a Bansky-esque piece in which a tank appears to be firing a flower into the heart of a mosque. “When I made this, Saudi Arabia was negotiating with Germany to buy tanks,” he says. “So here I cover them with Islamic patterns. Governments like to convince us that we need protecting. But who, actually, is the enemy?”

The message of “Camouflage” is all the more remarkable given that when Gharem made…

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Monocole Abdulnasser Gharem
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