As jigsaw puzzles piece together to a form a visual image, the sedimentation of symbols within Christto & Andrew’s photographs reveal the affects of history, politics, the economy and popular culture into the construction of contemporary society specifically found in the Gulf region. Using Qatar as an example, exaggerated colours, staged compositions and uncanny humour hightlight this constant development, and the malleable state of transformations into which its multitude of lifestyles are nurtured and interact.
In the same way, scavenged objects are transformed into cement moulds and regular people into models through photography to subvert and further notions of value, commodification and occupation. As a result, each object and character within their photographs become symbolic refelections of these stratifications found in Qatari society.
Christto and Andrew’s images, therefore, do not to critcise but rather hightlight two parallel dialogues-a local one and an expatriate one, which equally weave together this complex network of cultures and subcultures evident in most Gulf and MENA contexts.
Christto and Andrew’s practice evolves as a symbiotic process strenghted by a cross-polination of their differing backgrounds. Christto Sanz (b.1985) received a BA from the School of Fine Arts, Puerto Rico before completing his Master in Visual Communication & photography from Elisava, Spain. Andrew Weir (b. 1987) holds a BBA from Universtitat Ramon Llull, Spain and is currently completing an MA in Museum & Gallery Practice at University College London’s branch in Qatar. Together they produce photography, mixed media objects and videos exploring social identities, the media and reinterpretations of history.
The Puerto Rican and South African duo currently reside and work in Doha, Qatar. Previously their art has been shown in the MiddleEast, The United States, Central America and Europe.