Khalid Al Banna (b. 1975, Sharjah) is a contemporary Emirati artist based in Sharjah, UAE. He has staked his place in the local art scene since the early 90s, renowned now for using collage as a primary technique to explore subject matter pertinent to the history and rapid transformations of his home country. Al Banna’s work is a reflection of his world view. Drawing primarily from elements of design, his canvas is the negative space and his art is life projected against it. His fascination with world-building, borrowed from the field of architecture, gave rise to his hallmark Black and White collages: a diaristic series of abstract paper works using ink and collage which foreground process. He weaves together vague depictions of his landscape, the past and the present as well as blurry scenes from world affairs as experienced through his status quo.
After a decade of Black and White collages, he moved on to expanding the limits of his practice and perception. By 2009, after wandering into an old souq by his studio at Bait Al Shamsi, he stumbled upon an abundance of textile shops. The quaint storefronts, the fast-paced mercantile spirit and the muffled cacophony of overlapping cries for attention by the sellers, beckoned him into a new world – one in dizzying motion. Enter his sculptural fabric collages which are both the medium and the message. In his textile compositions, Al Banna addresses tradition as an agent in constant flux, using artifacts of a bygone period through a contemporary lens. Fabrics, crystals, beads and mirrors are worked and reworked in cathartic repetition, calling upon practices prevalent in Islamic ritual such as prayer and ablution, as well as the shapes of sacred geometry.
Al Banna has participated in several prominent exhibitions, including Al Burda Endowment Exhibition at Manarat Al Sadiyat, Abu Dhabi (2019), Portrait of a Nation, Abu Dhabi Festival, (2016) which traveled to me Collectors Room Berlin / Olbricht Foundation, Berlin (2017) as well as Kennedy center, Washington DC (2010) in addition to group exhibitions in France and Austria. He took part in the Emirates Fine Arts Society’s annual exhibitions since 1998 where, in 2006, he staged his first solo exhibition.
His works are held in the collections of the Sharjah Art Museum, Barjeel Art Foundation, Abu Dhabi Music & Art Foundation (ADMAF), UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, the Culture Department of Sharjah and the UAE embassy in the USA, amongst many.