A self-taught artist based in Jeddah, RexChouk portrays Khaleeji pop culture through
tongue-in-cheek vignettes. The artist works under a pseudonym and wears a mask in
public-facing photographs, allowing him to unapologetically tease the boundaries between public and private life in the region.
His playful documentation of courtship, leisure, and “low key vibes” drips with satire and social critique. He has developed a visual language through symbols and archetypes, which draw the viewer in, building a spectacle out of narratives ranging from provocative to mundane. The consistent lavender palette characterizing the series “Purple Reign” connects each panel to the next while the repetition of characters like “7uni” and “Yunn” engage the viewer with an unexpected and intimate perspective.
Influenced by international politics to the local hip-hop scene, RexChouk weaves contemporary youth culture from the GCC with themes of love, loneliness and daydreams. It is easy to draw parallels to animated sitcoms like The Simpsons or Futurama, where social commentary and critique take the form of humour, irony and hyperbole. However, it would be a disservice to define RexChouk’s approach in this manner alone. Although the artist’s time in New York has undoubtedly played a role in his artistic development, the strength of his work emanates from a unique position of brutal honesty and unabashed storytelling, deeply rooted in regional contemporary culture and universalities.
RexChouk’s playful charm is palpable; it is hard not to be drawn in by the lives of the characters portrayed and to wonder what may come of them. The artist challenges familiar social conventions with a quixotic appeal to our senses. Candoras and abayas give us a sense of place. His unarming artistic style provides us with a reason to be at ease, and RexChouk’s unpredictable narratives offer the viewer permission to ask questions about our present-day status quo.