Emirati art in my house

Print by Emirati artist Abdul Qader Al Rais

Print by Emirati artist Abdul Qader Al Rais

I moved into a new apartment just over a year ago. Other than magazine rip-outs of crazy photography and a printed canvas of a geisha I picked up in Kyoto, my walls have been bare.

I appreciate art and always go to art museums. Goya, Picasso, Van Gogh, Dali, Monet, Botero – all have incredible work that inspires. However it has always been the history, the motivation, or the story of the artist behind the painting that has brought it to life for me, more than the painting itself.

Perhaps that explains why I’m not someone who cares to have an original painting in my house; art for me is not about that.

As long as the picture has a meaning, and works in my house, I’m happy to have it up. I now own two pieces of what I consider ‘genuine’ art and I am proud to say one of them is by the celebrated Emirati artist Abdul Qader Al Rais. It was gifted to me by my dear friend Muna who is passionate about art and understands its value.

I really needed something on my walls. After looking through various sources selling art I could afford, I couldn’t find anything that resonated, so I decided to get a master painting copied.  When I told Muna of what I thought was the best solution to having art I liked on my wall, she was horrified. “Are you mad!? I will not let you commit this sin. It’s sacrilege!” I don’t understand, but my friendship with her will never allow me to do it. Her convictions helped me look harder for something original and I picked up a stunning painting from a street artist in Hanoi.

The Emirati piece I have by Al Rais is contemporary Islamic art. His colour and calligraphy combination is striking and beautiful. And it works perfectly in my living room.

It’s cool to have an Emirati touch in my home. Once it’s up, it will feel like I have a bit of the city’s soul on my wall.

Day 2, post 2.

Print by Emirati artist Abdul Qader Al Rais