While on a trip to Montreal just over a week ago, I had the opportunity to connect with the ARSENAL gallery, and take in the multidisciplinary exhibition of contemporary designer, photographer and artist Rad Hourani. His work is an attentive observation of humanity that celebrates neutrality as a defining human trait. Rad advocates non-conformity as the essence of individuality and sees modernity as an odyssey free of nations, gender, age, race, limits, and conditioning. Let's go behind the canvas with Rad Hourani...
AP. Tell us a bit about your background and who you are.
RH. I was born in Jordan in 1982 to a Jordanian-Canadian father, and a Syrian mother. I moved to Montreal when I was 16 to complete high school, and soon after my graduation I began working as an art director. At age 23 I moved to Paris where I pursued photography and video making. I then created my first unisex collection and launched my eponymous fashion brand in October of 2007, when I was 25 years old. Two years later I presented my first photo and video exhibition at the Jardins du Palais-Royal in Paris to great critical acclaim and I have continued to exhibit internationally ever since. I have shown in the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Dubai, Beijing, and created an interactive installation at the Tate Modern in London as well as different installations at the FIT museum in New York, and the Herning Museum of Contemporary Art in Denmark. In January 2013, I was given the great honour of becoming an invited member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Huate Couture in Paris. I was only 30 years old and became the first ever designer to present a unisex haute couture collection in the history of fashion and the first Canadian to be amongst these incredible creators.
AP. How would you describe the type of art you make?
RH. I would say my art is conceptual, it is free of any limitations.
AP. Where can people find your art? How can they purchase a work?
RH. Until January 17th at ARSENAL in Montreal, or at my galleries in Paris. They can also reach me at email@example.com
AP. Who is your favourite creative person? Why?
RH. Not a person, but I love nature, it is perfectly created.
AP. What is your favourite album of all time?
RH. Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits, in particular the songs, Heal the World, Man in the Mirror, Human Nature, They Don't Care About Us, Earth Song, and We Are the World.
AP. If you didn't have to work what would you do with your time?
RH. Relax, meditate, rest, recharge my batteries.
AP. What is your favourite journey?
RH. Swimming in the ocean, walking on the beach, yoga on a mountain with fresh air, and cooking for people I love.
AP. Do you have a favourite piece you have personally created? What is it?
RH. Nationless, the flag of the earth, composed of all 8 colours used in all countries flags.
AP. What are your thoughts on the influence of fashion and music on visual arts?
RH. They are all related, each medium is needed to communicated with all of our senses.
AP. Who is your favourite author?
RH. Ayn Rand.
AP. Where do you go for inspiration?
AP. What is your greatest achievement in life so far?
AP. What is your favourite colour?
RH. Black. In black there are all colours.
AP. What is the one thing you want to share with everyone reading this?
Visit ARSENAL gallery in Montreal to see Rad Hourani's show Neutrality until January 17th, 2016. Special thanks to Judith at Ixion Communications in Montreal for all of her help in arranging this interview. For more information about Rad's work please visit www.radhourani.com