Monday, April 12, 2010

Abu Dhabi Graffiti

Abu Dhabi is thankfully pretty much a graffiti free-city. However, I regularly drive pass by some old condemned buildings in Khalidiya, on which is this image. It's both fascinated and puzzled me for a while now, so I photographed it (before the building gets raised to the ground). What do you make of it? Do you like it? How to interpret it? Is that a corpse bride next to the Easter Island Moai statue? How about the 2nd figure in the blue uniform next to Mr TV head in his sharp suit?


Neil Roberts April 12, 2010 at 9:54 PM  

A sign of illegal drugs use?? :-)

Josh April 12, 2010 at 10:03 PM  

No idea what it means, but I like it. Where in Khalidiya is it? I'm around there quite a bit myself.

tapirgal April 12, 2010 at 10:23 PM  

Hi Peter,

I don't remember what I said about the washing post, but I do enjoy your blog. You take great photos - artistically and for their subject matter. I would say this is not ordinary graffiti, because the person is a real artist, probably outside the world of graffiti, too. As for the content, I think one would have to know something about the culture and idiom, which I don't! The first figure might be a universal image that we (generally) get too much of our thinking from what we see on TV. He is in a suit. Does this mean that people in the high levels of business and industry are too influenced by media? The third is an Easter Island figure. They don't speak, although this one is animated. I have no idea how it fits into your culture! I wouldn't even like to guess about the others, but I'll come back and see what other people have to say!

Leslie in Adams Morgan April 13, 2010 at 4:55 AM  

I like it. I'm a huge fan of graffiti and wall art.

AbuDhabiDailyPhotograph April 13, 2010 at 8:49 AM  

Thanks everyone for your take on this. I'd still like to read more viewpoints.

What's the relationship between the Easter Island figure and the women? I wonder if this is a wedding ceremony? Is the figure in blue uniform a postman or a policeman?

It's doesn't seem to have much Arab influence

For those living in Abu Dhabi and want a closer look, it's located
opposite Khalidiya Park, near Abela's supermarket.

CH April 13, 2010 at 6:15 PM  

I was more interested by the realization that two homonyms have opposite meanings:


I love the idiosyncrasies of English.

(as to the graffiti, I doubt that this was done by locals... no relationship to the local culture... this has come from expats I'd say)

Hilda April 13, 2010 at 6:34 PM  

On second thought, make that a sailor pig. He's pink. :)

Hilda April 13, 2010 at 6:34 PM  

I'm surprised to see graffiti in Abu Dhabi. But at least they only paint on condemned walls and buildings. There's still some kind of courtesy and civility there.

And about your question: looks like a sailor cow to me.

AbuDhabiDailyPhotograph April 13, 2010 at 10:20 PM  

You're right Hilda - I see a snout! Although I'm now wonder if it's a policeman as in the UK police are often referred to as 'Pigs'. The helmet looks like it's from a British 'bobby'

I agree CH, expats are the culprits here.

Thanks Tapirgal for your insight. Didn't recognise the Easter Island figure until you said. Is 'he' crying? Loved your take on Mr TV head :)

Still waiting to hear what regular blog visitors “Guyana Gyal”, “San Diego Farmgirl” and “Leif” make of it.

It would be good to hear from the 'artist' him/herself - Here's hoping!

Guyana-Gyal April 23, 2010 at 12:27 AM  

I must confess, I like graffiti...maybe because we don't have much here. And Banksy [of you-know-where] has added new meaning to it, taken it to a different level.

You know, it's possible that an Eastern chap did looks almost anti-West with the suit and tv-head, and the ghost-bride and that sailor with the weird face. Only the Easter Island figure has a face.

Long live Nigel Rees? :-D

You MUST tell us if you find the artist!

CafebyJW May 2, 2010 at 4:12 AM  

so cute!

My Pink Saturday
You Got A Posty ~ PFF
Theme Day ~ Statue

AbuDhabiDailyPhotograph May 27, 2010 at 1:41 AM  

Went back this week to see how the graffiti was looking, only to find someone had graffitied over the graffiti. Ruined! :(

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A collection of photographs portraying life in one of the world's wealthiest cities - Abu Dhabi, the island capital of the United Arab Emirates by Peter Waters, a photography aficionado and finalist of the du Social Media Awards 2012 for Best Blog/Blogger

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