Tashkeel presents “First Solo: Saif Mhaisen”, the second edition of the programme, running in the Tashkeel Al Fahidi gallery (Bastakiya). A responsive display of the artist’s life, Mhaisen’s debut exhibition Work captures the people and spaces that populate and influence his experiences.
The exhibition sheds light on Mhaisen’s distinct and systematic thought process. While his oil paintings reflect a resilient personal presence and vivid tactile involvement, his photographs show regard for context, preluding his paintings. The paintings explore the relationship between the skilled presence of an artist, expressed in the strokes of the palette knife, and representational subject matter that stems from the photography-referenced process, bridging mark-making and realistic depiction. Central to the exhibition is a work that explores the imprints on the artist from people who influence his life, building up an almost fictional, visual self-portrait through his encounters. Whether a long term friend, artist, architect, or a recognisable film personality, each pen and ink portrait is one element in an eclectic summary of a whole.