April 30, 2013

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been writing about contemporary art, art fairs, and various artists, but I never said anything about my own art. This time I’ve decided to write about my work and my upcoming exhibition 'Sublime and Ridiculous'. Some of the readers might accuse me of self-promotion, but I strongly believe that nobody would be able to explain my art better than myself.

I came to Oman in 1999, and I had my first personal exhibition in 2004. Since that time I’ve been exhibiting in Muscat annually. 'Sublime and Ridiculous' is my tenth solo exhibition, and I must credit my dear friend Sharon for coming up with such a beautiful title which describes it all. There will be 30 new artworks on display, ten pencil drawings and 20 epoxy paintings.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” - Pablo Picasso

For the last two years I’ve been working with epoxy, a new media I discovered not long ago. As a result, I produced a collection of paintings, - large canvases in vibrant colours, with intricate details and hidden messages, which were exhibited last year in my exhibition entitled 'Touch of Madness'. Epoxy is a very difficult material to work with; it’s toxic, it’s liquid, and it hardens very fast so you have very little time to apply it. Once dry, it resembles nail polish spilt onto a canvas.

For this exhibition I made 20 paintings, in which I tried to build parallels with our childhood memories. Be it a little girl happily wandering about with a balloon, brightly-coloured candy, angels playing in the rain, hedgehogs looking for mushrooms, or a bumblebee making a noise, these are all happy memories extracted from the mind of a little girl that still lives somewhere inside me. When we grow up, we forget about all those small things that used to make us happy. It takes a very long time to become young again. My intention is to submerge the viewer into that sublime, carefree, bright, imaginative, and blissful atmosphere of our childhood.

“There is a small world of people who are very interested in contemporary art and a slightly bigger world of people who look at contemporary art. But then there is a much larger world that doesn't realise how influential art is on things that they actually look at.” Marc Jacobs

When I ran out of epoxy, I switched onto pencils, and made a set of drawings based on some of the most famous and ridiculously rich contemporary artists and their artwork. I wrote about some of these artists in my previous articles. These drawings have been shortlisted for the prestigious Strabag International Art Award.

Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor, Banksy, Marc Quinn, and Tracey Emin are some of the most influential, highly significant, very controversial, imaginative, and most talked about artists of our age. How did they become so successful and what’s so special about their work? I am not giving any answers in my drawings; on the contrary, I am raising the questions. Some of the artwork these artists produce is often criticised for being too commercial. Some of them don’t even touch their art; they’ve got a team of assistants to bring their artistic ideas to life. Are these artists having a laugh? Are they playing the fool or fooling? Does it really matter that their art is made by their staff or if it can be called art at all? What is the meaning behind their work and why does it sell for millions? I’ve decided to ask the gorillas. Let’s find out what they think about it.

'Sublime and Ridiculous' will be held on May 4, 5, at Grand Hyatt Muscat. The first day is reserved for a private viewing.

The exhibition will be open to public on the May 5, 9am to 6pm.