Images of Obama, Will Smith and John Travolta all wearing the traditional Arab Gulf attire have been floating around the Internet these couple of weeks. And while we found them humorous (and surprised that the traditional wear suits them well!), we found out that the mastermind behind these viral images is none other than Bahraini artist Mohamed Kanoo.
Exhibiting his second solo exhibition at Meem Gallery, Mohamed Kanoo’s Fun w/Fen presents the artist’s humorous interpretation of topical issues including religion, culture, politics and popular culture. The exhibition features works such as Abayya Army and the Red Balloon, Noor (Light), Henna Stop Sign, and a display of his Shemaghart collection. AraMao, which is based on Andy Warhol’s famous portrait of Chairman Mao; and his personal interpretation of Katsushika Hokusai’s iconic The Great Wave off Kanagawa, where he replaces Mount Fuji with Dubai’s Burj Al Arab.
Mohamed commenced painting informally in Abu Dhabi in 1989. Using self-taught modern techniques of Roy Lichtenstein, Mohamed paints in the contemporary Pop art style of Andy Warhol. His first work, executed in this style, was a portrait of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late President and Founder of the United Arab Emirates, an ever present spiritual inspiration to his work. His works have developed over the years and he has recently started experimenting with other media for his more abstract contemporary pieces.
His artistic philosophy is often termed as “being in transition,” an unintentional description of his efforts that he holds very close to his heart. He feels an artist must be continually changing, improving, growing, expanding and should never be caught in a repetitive rut.
Be sure to visit this entertaining exhibition between 15 May – 5 July at Meem Art Gallery in Dubai and check out the gallery’s site for more information www.meemartgallery.com