If you want uninterrupted access to a large number of world leaders, including the late Libyan Dictator Muammar Qaddafi, then Dubai’s Ayyam Gallery is definitely the place to go.
Under the theme “Follow the Leader”, veteran Syrian photojournalist Ammar Abd Rabbo showcases a collection of spontaneous moments that depict the humanity side of some of the most iconic leaders of our time.
The exhibition, which is Abd Rabbo’s second with Ayyam Gallery, features 15 unique photographs and is on until July 12.
At his new gallery, Abd Rabbo intends to reflect an astonishing glimpse into the intimate lives of these leaders and work to immortalize those special moments; some of these portraits have sparked controversy.
“There are different levels that exist in the realm of art and controversy is the core of it. The most challenging moments of my career are those when the same artistic piece leaves a different remark or interpretation from others,” Abd Rabbo told Al Arabiya.
The exhibition features portraits of Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal as well as fallen leaders such as Iraq’s Saddam Hussein; marking different periods throughout Abd Rabbo’s career.
Whereas Abd Rabbo admits that he is sometimes specifically invited to take pictures of a number of world leaders, many times he needs to make a special effort to meet others.
The exhibition also includes exclusive photographs of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his wife Asma.
Ammar Abd Rabbo was born in Damascus in 1966; he has lived in Libya and Lebanon before moving to France in 1978. His work has been published on various covers of publications, like Time Magazine, Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, and through a virtual site Flickr, which has recently reached more than two-and-a-half million visitors.
With over two decades of photography experience, his portfolio includes portraits of head of states, war coverage in Iraq, Lebanon and Libya, all of which has attracted a wide range of audiences from all over the world.
He held a solo exhibit at Ayyam Gallery early this year.