Courtesy The Future is Unwritten
When conceptual artist and doctor Ahmed Mater’s “Magnetism” sold for $120,000 at an auction hosted by Christie’s in London last month, it began what is planned as a year-long partnership between international artist, public health leaders and the Aspen-based Open Mind Project to help support vulnerable communities affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The artwork is a sculptural piece focused on a cuboid magnet that resembles the Kaʿbah of the Meccan rites. Around the cube are spiral patterns made of tens of thousands of particles of iron evoking the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Given that Mecca was seen mostly empty for the first time in its history during 2020’s pandemic, this work was chosen to launch the Healing Arts Auction series.