Qatar, Futurism and Fortune-Tellers

In the work of photographers Christto and Andrew, Qatar is futuristic, brightly coloured and well-manicured.

by Christto and Andrew
09 October 2016, 11:00pm

This article originally appeared on VICE Netherlands

While Christto Sanz is originally from Puerto Rico and Andrew Weir hails from South Africa, the two photographers now work and live in Qatar. Operating from their studio in Doha, they make colourful and slightly surreal still lifes and portraits, reflecting on the rapid societal changes in the oil state.

Last month, they exhibited their new series Glory of the Artifice at the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam – the images from that series were also the campaign images of the event. The series was inspired by Qatar, futurism and fortune-tellers. "We're interested in how the past, present and future are presented and understood in today's contemporary society," Weir explained to VICE Netherlands over email. "There is a strong focus on the future and futurism in Qatar, which doesn't correspond to the mentality of the place. That creates an interesting contradiction."

Although Qatar is a big source of inspiration for the duo, their photos show a fictionalised and exaggerated version of the country. "The bizarre things that you experience here every day inspire us. But everything here is so grey and monochromatic that we had to create a new reality of Doha – our experience mixed with colour and characters who seem to be somewhat uncomfortable and make you look twice."

Find more work by Christto & Andrew on their website

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