THE PATRONS: Call to All Creatives

€97,214 of €145,000 goal

Raised by 73 people in 17 months
“I M A G I N E — The Strongest Word I Know”

URGENT Call to All Artists & Creatives.

My name is Steve Sabella, and I am a Berlin-based artist born in the Old City of Jerusalem, Palestine. For over three decades, my art practice has sought to transcend the political, the mental, and the aesthetic to develop an utterly human language.  My chosen medium has ranged from experimental photography, to film and print interviews, and an award-winning memoir published last year, The Parachute Paradox. What flows through all of my artwork is an investigation into unseen realities and the imagination’s power to break through boundaries.

Kerber Verlag , 2016


As an independent artist who lives off his art, I’ve been financing my large-scale projects for many years. I operate in synergy with many galleries and institutions, joining forces to best allow my artworks to manifest themselves, sharing ambition and vision. But the art world has become too traditional for artists who navigate like I do. As a result, my studio faces a deficit that severely limits its productions. So I ask you now to stand with me.

Since its beginnings, my studio has developed creative methods of operation. It has grown exponentially in the past few years, and today I work full-time with two assistants, hardly catching up on all I have planned. I feel on fire, busy years in advance. And never have I felt happier on a personal level, never more inspired by life. 

I have been blessed to have collectors who believe in what I do, supporting my career with a bigger picture in mind. But just like my relationship to individual galleries and institutions, there is only so much collectors can do. They have helped remove many stones in my path, but all the while, these stones have accumulated elsewhere, becoming a mountain. So I have chosen to turn to the collective. One person can move a stone, but only the people can move a mountain together.

Archaeology of the Future 
Maretti Editore, 2014


While still treading the paved roads of the art world, why don't we create parallel routes? It is only in this uncharted territory where the magic happens. 

Upon reaching the funding target, I propose to you a unique Artist Book, titled THE PATRONS. The only text printed in its many pages will be your names, all those who supported the studio when it was most in need. Linked by a network of colored threads, woven together, the name of the first patron connects to the last. This volume will be auctioned at Christie’s or Sotheby’s, and the entire revenue from its sale will be donated to other GoFundMe artistic campaigns (at present, the value of my artwork ranges from €7,000 to €25,000).

Kerber Verlag
With essays by Hubertus von Amelunxen, Almút Sh. Bruckstein, T.J. Demos, Lorenz Korn, Nat Muller, Abdul-Rahim Al-Shaikh, Ella Shohat, Marleen Stoessel, and Elliot R. Wolfson.

I have often spoken with artists and creatives about the system in place limiting freedom and vision. And I often witness surrender. What I would like to achieve with you sets a precedent for how creatives can thrive without a sole dependence on the status quo. We are all conditioned to live with limits. Many of the art world's practitioners seem to work within the margins of a fictitious protocol or manuscript— adhering to its rules. But there is no such thing. In the creative life, the codes, the letters of such a manuscript, are printed in the imagination—they can always change.

Life and our survival in it is a matter of our collective imagination. Let’s progress step by step, fill The Patrons page by page, and before we know it, we have made a small change.

Hatje Cantz , Akademie der Künste, 2014
Text: Hubertus Von Amelunxen 
Foreword: Kamal Boullata


The Universe and I THANK you!

- For any sum you are able to contribute, The Universe will find its way to reward you!

- All participants contributing 25€ or more will receive a limited-edition poster signed by the artist. The number of editions will be determined by the number of participants in the campaign.

- Upon reaching the funding target, all participants who support this call will have their names printed in the Artist Book—The Patrons.

- All profit from the unique auctioned book, minus production and auction house fees, will be donated to other GoFundMe artistic calls. The figure will be made public.


Also see The Artist's Curse born from The Patrons Call to All Creatives. Every day at midday for 365 days I will publish another curse.

Steve Sabella Studio Website
Artist Biography  

Recent Studio Newsletters

- Autumn 2017
Including interviews with France 24 and Monte Carlo Radio, two new books; The Artist's Curse and Palestine - UNSETTLED, and the latest reviews.

Summer 2017
Including three international awards for The Parachute Paradox, a new book, exhibition,  reviews, and an interview on The Path to the True Self.

Winter 2017
Including book launches at CAP (Kuwait), ICI (Berlin) in collaobartion with Ifa Gallery and Taswir Projects, SOAS University (London), and Alserkal Avenue (Dubai) in collaboration with Barjeel Art Foundation (Sharjah). 

Documentaries and Interviews

Artist Steve Sabella on the Liberation of the Self

- In the Darkroom with Steve Sabella (2014)

- Deutsche Welle - Guest & Story (2015)

Printed Reviews


Should you be interested, feel free to look at the studio's ambitions for the next three years:

The Artist’s Curse (2018)
I hold an MA in art business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art and have published essays on the art market, analyzing structures and trends. Here I examine this same world from a different vantage, with a humorous spirit. The Artist's Curse is the necessity to sell our creative work without selling ourselves or contaminating creativity. Every day at midday for 365 days I will publish another curse. The final publication will be a full collection of 666 curses. 

Children of the Dew (2018)
I am privileged to undertake the first English translation of poet, novelist, and critic Mohammed al-Asaad’s iconic Atfal al-Nada (“Children of the Dew”). First published in 1990, and republished by Dar al-Feel in 2013, the book recounts that fateful night of 1948 when Palestine became Israel. Al-Asaad blends the surreal vocabulary of a dream with local myth, scattered personal narratives, and voices from the past. The story is prose, poetry, and history all at once. Read a translation of chapter one.

The Parachute Paradox (Arabic Translation) 
Mohammed al-Asaad has already started translating my memoir from English into Arabic. 

Palestine—UNSETTLED (2018)
Winner of the AFAC Grant 2017.
Comprising this book are 100 photographs I took in Palestine during the Second Intifada (2000-2007), as well as five critical essays by renowned scholars. These images speak silently. They suspend the viewer between perceived reality and imagination.

ALL THAT REMAINS—Wood shard collected from Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on top of fragments with photographs taken in a Palestinian house occupied by Israel in 1948. (2017)
The glass installation takes the form of a memorial, possibly providing a moment of silence within the self. I believe what Palestinians and Israelis lack today, and the world as a whole, are honest moments of self-interrogation and introspection.

In the Cave with Steve Sabella: A Documentary (2019/2020)
Continuing a film narrative begun with In The Darkroom with Steve Sabella, I will partner with a director to document this new chapter. After finding a cave in the heart of the Old City, I will project onto one of its walls an image of Jerusalem. The photo will be fixed there through the same emulsion process used for the paint fragments of 38 Days of Re-Collection: the cave is effectively transformed into a darkroom. While working underground, various artists, writers, and intellectuals will be connected via a video-conferencing program. Appearing one by one, they are projected onto the surrounding walls for conversations. Some of these people may be barred from physically entering Jerusalem. However, no wall or border can prevent the movement of thought.

A Mind’s Chamber: Short Stories (2020)
To follow The Parachute Paradox, I am writing a group of interconnected stories. The narratives are based in reality, but explore the transformative power of the mind and imagination.

Currently on show in Berlin at The Bumiller Collection  (until September 20th).

38 Days of Re-Collection

B&W film negative
(generated from a digital image of a Palestinian house occupied by Israelis in 1948),
printed with B&W photo emulsion
spread on color paint fragments
collected from Jerusalem’s Old City house walls.

I  M  A  G  I  N  E
+ Read More
THE PATRONS: Call to All Creatives has reached 53% of its goal. Thanks to Montoro12 Contemporary Art Gallery, Haya and Maggy.
+ Read More
Here is my interview on France 24 with Liana Saleh discussing in Arabic my artistic practice and The Patrons Call, as well as her 5 minute introduction on the main news.

The Patrons Call is continuing to grow, and we can reach our destination with your support. You are most welcome to become a Patron of my studio.
France 24 with Liana Saleh
France 24 news feature
+ Read More
As THE PATRONS: Call to All Creatives has reached almost 32,000 euro, and the studio has managed to get itself out of the danger zone for now, we are happy to announce that Steve has been invited to speak on France 24 with Lyana Saleh, and Monte Carlo Radio with Tarik Hamdan, discussing the campaign’s journey and its bigger picture. As Steve says:

“It’s true that I am an artist who fights labels. But this does not negate how people look at me and perceive what I do. I feel a responsibility, as this call’s completion grants power to Palestinian artists, artists of the Arab World, all artists. Its success is a great support to the culture at large, Palestinian and Arab and beyond. I feel I am on a mission fuelled by imagination, and the love of what I do.”

Stay tuned for the two interviews that will be released in early September.
+ Read More
ARTISTS & CREATIVES: Finances will hinder or haunt us all at a certain point. No one is immune from the situation in which my studio works today – so ask yourself, who will be your Patrons when the time has come?
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

€97,214 of €145,000 goal

Raised by 73 people in 17 months
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Paula Billups
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Paula Billups
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Michael Neuwirth
9 months ago (Offline Donation)
Paula Billups
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Montoro12 Contemporary Art Gallery (Rome, Brussels)
11 months ago (Offline Donation)
12 months ago
Haya Al-Sada
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Metroquadro Gallery Turin
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13 months ago (Offline Donation)
Paula Billups
14 months ago
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