Vespa culture comes to Jordan

mo awwad

Work by Mohammad Awwad from the ‘Do You Vespa?’ exhibition on display at Jacaranda Images until May 27 (Photo courtesy of Jacaranda Images)

AMMAN — Incorporating a transportation vehicle in artworks might seem like an odd concept at first, but the works displayed as part of the “Do You Vespa?” exhibition at Jacaranda Images proved the opposite.

Four artists, Mike Derderian, Mohammad Awwad, Ibraheem Awamleh and Lutfi Zayed presented artworks at the exhibition that focuses on the Vespa motorcycles, where creativity and practicality meet.

The Vespa, which translates to ‘wasp’ in Italian was first manufactured in 1946 in Florence and has ever since been a widely-used transportation device among Europeans.

CEO of Darwazeh Motors, Tamer Darwazeh said: “Vespa always supports art around the world. This year we did this project in Jordan to incorporate and integrate local artists with the Vespa culture.”

The exhibition not only showcases artworks by the Jordanian artists, but also vintage posters portraying the beauty of the machine and its accessibility to both women and men.

“The Vespa is very easy to ride, the nicest thing about it is that even a lady in a skirt can ride it,” Darwazeh said. “It is environmentally-friendly and it is a fashionable way to get around,” Darwazeh added.

According to Darwazeh, the motorcycle emits 90 per cent less carbon than a car.

Contributing artist Mohammad Awwad was excited to participate in the exhibition as it is a new way for presenting a product that is “great for Amman”.

“It’s a new experience working on a concept that aims to showcase a product such as this one. I think Vespas are great for Amman; they are environmentally-friendly, colourful and they save you plenty of time while commuting. I also think that the scooter’s driver definitely has a nicer view of Amman than a car driver.”

Similarly, artist Derderian, who is also a writer and illustrator, wanted to be involved in the exhibition because it is a new concept.

“It’s always great to do something different,” Derderian said. “People always expect you to draw about politics in the Middle East, which is why I always want to do something creative about social and daily life and breakaway from politics.”

Graphic designer and artist Lutfi Zayed said that the scooter has a unique aesthetic that instantly spot. He said: “There are certain design icons that a graphic designer immediately recognise. The design of a Vespa and the vintage artworks that portrayed it are definitely important icons.”

This piece was published in The Jordan Times

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