Mohammed Al Mamari
Family ties are very important to Mohamed, where he shares a special bond. At home, a room was converted to a fully equipped artist studio to nurture Mohamed’s initial exploration into the art scene which is operational to this day.
Like many artists Mohammed began being unsure of his style in art but had a keen interest in portraying realistic images at a young age. His career started as a figurative painter and developed a surrealist edge to his style, allowing more freedom to express his inner thoughts and feelings onto his subjects.
Mohamed fondly remembers his earliest introduction in the art world was when he competed with his classmates drawing cartoon characters using colored pencils. To this day, he has kept the green note book that had launched him into an ability that has excelled with time and experimentation. The Omani Society for Fine Arts was a welcome induction to the young virtuoso but after a while, Mohamed was restless, unfulfilled and hungered for further stimulating techniques and skills.
By chance, an Arabian camel which has a striking composition with a unique technique caught the eye of the renowned realist Omani artist, Saud Al Huneini at the Omani Society. Mohamed smiles at this… He had not completed the painting of the camel but had to display it and remains incomplete to this day… an exceptional tribute.
Disciplined but yet adventurous, Mohamed aspired to master portraits and to further explore the possibilities with his own signature style. This investigation into a new arena was wonderfully rewarded when Mohamed won a third prize in a Youth Studio whilst he was still a student at the Sultan Qaboos University studying Economics.
After his Graduation, Mohamed pursued a career in as a government specialist in the Financial sector but never abandoned his passion in art. Quietly in his home studio, while the rest of the family slept, Mohamed continued with further experimentation in his development as an artist. A successful work day or extremely strenuous ones were released as they were transferred on canvas late at night. The small studio soon was bursting with a diverse of art work from a forbidding Bedouin man to a vibrant village girl in her stunning traditional attire.
Being composed and appropriate in his daily job, in his home studio, his work becoming increasingly surreal, discovering boundless options, Mohamed’s work became more liberated. However some of these works remained under the wraps in Oman as they progressive in the region. Some figures appear to be breaking apart into shapes and forms, bodies contorting and merging with other worldly objects, faces contrived in pain and expression. During this time in his career some of these works were shown in Paris and Kuwait. It was already noted that his work was very unique; he was bringing something different, something new and original to the art world.
Mohammed’s mixed media oil paintings were exhibited for the exhibition ‘Consumption with Vivid Eyes’ in Oman in 2004 where his surrealist artwork was shown for the first time in Oman, with mixed reviews. This style of painting can be classed as magic realism, when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe.
Mohammed’s paintings do not need a caption or writing to explain his concepts; his paintings speak for themselves, and sometimes even jump out at the viewer. The passion and story behind these paintings come from the eyes, where their story lies. Mohammed creates this vision by the contrast and powerfulness of his compositional chiaroscuro effect on the characters face
Mohammed is a collector of images like most artists, most his own and some from other sources. These collections are all sources for inspiration behind his work as well as the use of photography making it a vital factor to his subject matter.
As moments in life and surroundings pass by in such random and fast paced motion, he finds it key to photograph these scenes before they disappear and slip through his fingers. He attends many events during the colorful commemoration of Eid in Oman and other vibrant occasions, always with his camera. When choosing a photo he goes through many but some release a dialogue between him and that person. Working from photographs of strangers makes it easier for Mohammed to project his own feelings and emotions into the characters. Portraying himself through the model rather than just a representation is truly exemplary. Contradicting his dreams with reality, transforms them into extravagantly powerful pieces of work.
After this time Mohammed began to concentrate more on portraying reality and only involving very subtle surrealist influences. He continues to revolve his work around Omani subject matter and Middle Eastern traditions merged with darker and dream like elements of life. He continues to participate in many exhibitions locally and internationally and is surely an artist to keep watching.
Media: Acrylic and pigment on canvas
Country: Oman, Muscat
*All prices are indicated in Omani Rials.
** Amount is indicated as: before decimal point - hundreds; before comma - thousands.