top of page

Maisoon Al Saleh

Written by Cassie Mckenzie, assistant curator, M.A. in museum studies.

Maisoon Al Saleh is an Emirati digital artist, painter, draftswoman, author, and the Founder and CEO of The Paintly Store. She holds a degree in interior design, and her work has been shown in Dubai and internationally. Al Saleh's artistic journey began with her first solo exhibition at the Maraya Art Center in Sharjah in 2010. Her work has since been showcased in over 100 exhibitions throughout the world, including at Art Dubai, Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, Macedonian Museum in Greece, and Palazzo TE Museum in Italy.

The art delves into depths of narratives, often focusing on bones and skulls to convey stories which transcend age and gender. Inspired by historic representational art, such as José Guadalupe Posada's Calaveras prints, her skeletal compositions narrate Emirati life, culture, and history, offering new perspectives that challenge conventional symbolic associations. In her second solo exhibition, The Dara Chronicles, Maisoon explored the stories and documented accounts of the M.V. Dara, a passenger liner that exploded in the Gulf in 1961. Through meticulous research and a blend of mixed media, she crafted artworks that illuminate personal narratives and challenge mainstream media representations of history and memory.

Infinite Horizons (pictured above) showcases a vibrant, abstract camel against a surreal urban backdrop. The camel, adorned in a patchwork of bright, contrasting colors and patterns, strides confidently over a pink crosswalk, creating a playful juxtaposition between traditional Emirati symbolism and modern pop art. Bold, saturated hues of yellow and blue dominate the background, contrasting sharply with the muted, almost monochromatic buildings and street, emphasizing the camel as the central figure. Maisoon's use of color and form invites viewers to explore intersections of cultural heritage and contemporary urban life, blending familiar elements with fantastical imagery.

Sands of Time (top of article) features vibrant green cacti against a vividly colored backdrop, blending natural elements with abstract design. Bright greens of the cacti contrast sharply with a bold blue sky and grid-like patterns, evoking a sense of structure amidst organic growth. A deep magenta dominates the lower portion, adding a surreal quality to the desert landscape and emphasizing the striking contrast between colors. Maisoon's use of intense, contrasting hues and geometric elements creates a dynamic interplay between nature and modernity, creating a mirage effect. The cacti, a symbol of resilience and endurance, stands tall amidst a backdrop which suggests time's relentless march and human intervention. This piece invites contemplation of time's passage, the enduring spirit of nature, and the evolving relationship between natural environments and human-made structures in an evolving world.

Maisoon Al Saleh masterfully intertwines traditional Emirati symbols with contemporary digital artistic elements, creating thought-provoking works which challenge perceptions and invite deeper reflection. Her vibrant use of color, bold contrasts, and incorporation of cultural and historical narratives reveal a unique ability to bridge the past and present. Through her art, Maisoon explores themes of resilience, identity, and the passage of time. Her compelling compositions celebrate cultural legacy and provoke discussions on how history and memory shape contemporary society.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
bottom of page