Interviewed by Dubai Abulhoul (@DubaiAbulhoul)
- Can you tell the readers more about yourself and who you are as an artist?
I started two years ago as a professional artist and I took it as a career. I knew that there were not a lot of Emiratis who have taken art as a career because it is mostly taken as a hobby. I started when I found a painting that I have done when I was seven. Since I was that young I painted but I stopped because I have studied Media and Communications. After that, I took my masters in Marketing; so you see how it is not related to art. That is when I thought that it is about time someone took art seriously and that is how I started. I am actually trying to do something different with my artwork; mostly about a memory that I might have, something from the 80s.
- Do you remember your first attempt at being creative?
My first major attempt was the ‘Dubai Series’. The paintings I did for this series were the first to be officially published. So after the publicity, I said ‘Ok fine, this is something that I would take seriously.’ I am now a full time artist but I am also doing my masters. I am hoping for a PhD in Art History.
- What inspires or motivates you to create art?
That is a question that I have been asked so many times but it is actually random things that inspire me. It could be a movie scene, a quote, a memory; it could be anything that I encounter in my everyday life. There is no one source I refer back to. You can get inspired from the smallest of objects.
- Do you believe as an artist that art does make a difference?
I think so because I remember Banksy, who is a graffiti artist, he created something on the wall that separates Palestine and Israel. His idea was to go all the way to Palestine and create graffiti on the wall. He actually created something that the two people from two cultures would consider looking at to fix important issues.
- How would you describe the art scene here in Dubai?
I think it is still growing. I remember at Art Abu Dhabi, I asked a question to one of the art professors and I said: ‘Do you think after working with local artists, that we have a strong base that we could create a documentary out of?’ And he was like ‘Yes.’ But after the yes, I wanted to know on what bases are we weak and strong. The local art scene in Dubai is growing gradually.
- Have or are you a part of an art organization that has benefited you as a growing artist?
No, I am of thinking of joining a gallery, but to be able to join a gallery means to be committed to this one gallery. However, I am going to have my own solo gallery in January with the Ara Gallery.
- Tell us more about your National Day projects. Where are they displayed, organized by who, and the message behind them.
I wanted to create a contribution and I noticed that we do not have street art because it is mainly illegal. When I created this, I actually took permission. I wanted to create something that was not on a canvas, an element that represents a characteristic about us. The first element was a cement block and it meant our strength.
The second one is a vintage car from 1967. I actually asked permission from the owner to take one side of the car to create something from it for National Day. The car resembles the past and the present.
I also took permission to use a house, which in this case represents belonging. I then took a satellite and that resembles communication. Moreover, I took a streetlight, which resembles energy. Also, I took the old Emirati game ‘The Keiram” and used it to represent communication. So they are actually seven elements standing for the Emirates.
There is a wheel barrel located in front of the Ara Gallery, which I took permission to display, and it was there till the end of November; it stands for growth.
21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start – Art of Living 101 – Beyond Inspiration – Community Talk – Food For Thought
Interview – Just Another Undergrad – Sense and Sustainability – Society of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever – The Mind’s Eye – Too Blunt For Words – Words, Observations, and Ramblings
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