Fri, 09 September 2022
In celebration of our 25th anniversary, Bahrain This Month launched an NFT front cover which was digitalised and animated. As part of the NFT project, local and international artists with a connection to our beautiful Kingdom were given an opportunity to reinterpret any of our 300 preceding issues. Here are some of the artists who presented their stunning submissions:
(@1800.weirdo) – Night Blooms (January 1998)
Born in India, raised in Bahrain and now based in Dubai, Puja, aka @1800.Weirdo, bases her works on her vivid and elaborate dreams and nightmares. She originally started to invest her time in art last year as a creative release from her corporate job, and she now thrives on the power and endless possibilities of digital collage art.
Puja is driven by a desire to allow viewers to experience new and unusual feelings, such as a longing to visit somewhere that doesn›t exist or missing someone they don›t really know. Her work has previously been shown at prestigious NFT exhibitions across Dubai and Bahrain. She is a huge fan of Postwook, Marc Savoia, and The Altered Diary.
Grand Mosque (January 1998)
Navigating through different facets and forms of art painting, illustration and poetry, Eskander continues to discover and evolve within all these realms of expression and creativity. His contemporary portraits are at once arrestingly life-like and gothically evocative, conveying a sense of immediacy in each piece, as they draw you into the canvas. The background swallows all the surrounding and takes you to the very centre of the piece. They invoke a gut reaction, which differs from each perspective.
There is an undeniable strength in the images Eskander conceives, as well as deep-rooted sense of respect, courage, empathy and natural beauty. Eskander cites the works of Gustav Klimt, Francesco Clemente and Lucian Freud as influences on his work as well as the love of music that varies from day to day. He admires anyone who takes a chance and creates something without caring what people think.
Land of Palm Trees (August 1999)
Anisha feels like she was born to create and express what she sees and feels. Since the age of 15, she has been interested in art, particularly print on fabric, and is inspired by magic and intuition.
Jacqueline M. de Freitas
(@jacqueline_de_f) – Jet Skiing Around Bahrain (October 1999)
Jacqueline’s work has been accepted and featured in small group exhibitions, such as the 43rd Fine Arts Exhibition, and appears annually at the AWA Visions Art Exhibition. She is a Bahraini artist born in the UK and, in her words, is “in the last quarter century of life.” She started painting in 2006 and thrives on being able to paint and continuously explore various mediums, with acrylics and oils being her favourites. More recently, she has been experimenting with Lino print art.
Artists she admires include Abdullah Al Muharraqi, Vincent Van Gogh and Abbas Al Mossawi. Her next work is a series of four views from windows in Old Bahrain and a series of Lino prints.
(@artofajai and www.artofajai.com) – Shades of Bahrain (August 2008)
Ajai is a self-taught visual artist and has been freelancing for the last six years. He loves exploring multiple styles and mediums of art. Ajai Says: “Since I was a child, art has been an escape from reality into a fantasy world. I have spent many hours at home sketching and building sand sculptures from my imagination.”
Besides Visual Arts, he is a passionate vocalist and performs for charity fundraiser concerts in his home city of Chennai. He is currently working on a series of NFT artworks based on the elephant god, Ganesha, and cites Kim Jung Gi as his role model.
Autumn Foliage (June 2009)
Art has always inspired Anju to feel liberated. She finds it to be a creative process and enjoys engaging with a palette of colours and transferring emotions of what she deeply feels from her muse onto her canvas. She likes to speak through her canvas and create a poetic rhythm. “I began my first sketch at the age of 10, and vividly remember sketching my grandfather’s portrait in my drawing book,” she says.
She is inspired when imagining a visual which she can adapt from her day-to-day life or perhaps from an image she sees online. Her greatest inspiration is Vincent Van Gogh; particularly his use of striking colours and quick brush strokes. Her next work will be a painting of a woman draped in a feathered dress on canvas.
Isa Abdulla Almutawa
(@isa.abdullah) – Gazelle (June 2011)
Isa started creating artwork in school after being inspired by oriental artists. He usually paints whatever he sees in his mind’s eye.
(@rehamayamarts) – Elegancy in Charcoal (October 2010)
Reham is currently working on a mosaic using recycled elements, which along with calligraphy are her strongest passions. She has had a keen interest in art since she was in school. Reham is inspired by nature, folk stories and patterns, particularly ancient mosaic artists and crafters.
Amal ‘Amy’ Alshaikh
(@amyalshaikh) – Festival of Dreams (June 2012)
Amy is currently creating surreal dark paintings, illustrations and scary sculptures. Some of these will be sold online and some will be featured at the ComicCon 2022 convention.
She is a self-taught artist, who experiments with pop and surreal art. “My work tends to be dark and eerie, based on concepts from ancient mythology or ideas inspired from history, supernatural folklore stories and current events,” says Amy. She is heavily influenced by music, movies, Japanese comics and books which she enjoys reading.
(@suvosart) – The Entangling Designs (March 2011)
After completing more than 40 years of service in various sectors in Bahrain, Subho turned to arts and crafts completely. After practicing for hundreds of hours over the last five years, taking part in numerous art exhibitions and creating more than 300 original artworks in varied mediums, he is pursuing a second career as a freelance artist. His major inspirations are from nature and people surrounding us, since each frame has a different story to tell.
“I try to find a rhythm in day-to-day modern chaos and enjoy creating abstract art with different levels of attention to colour, precision, gesture and recognisable or unrecognisable forms,” says Subho.
He cites his daughter, Soumi Sarkar, as the artist he admires the most, followed by the Nobel Laurette, Rabindranath Tagore, under whose institution he undertook his initial years of schooling at. With the festive season right around the corner in India, he is currently working on creating black and white based paintings of the celebrations.
Extinct in the Wild (June 2011)
Safia has a Peruvian/Bahraini background and started painting in high school. Her main inspiration comes from animals in the wild.
She states that her selection for her NFT submission was due to the fact that the Arabian Oryx went extinct in the wild in 1972. However, conservation efforts rescued the Arabian Oryx from complete extinction by establishing successful breeding and reintroduction programmes.
“I have found that certain animals, such as the Oryx, are representative of this region. Therefore, it is imperative to highlight the necessity to preserve these species so that generations may also look to them as figures of our area. In painting these animals, I, in my way, have highlighted their importance to Bahrain and perhaps general awareness of what is at stake. In choosing the black background, I demonstrated the potential death of a species. Still, with the lightness of the figures, I illustrated the hope for a possible future for our beloved Oryx,” she explains.
Safia admires forms of art rather than particular artists.
(@petrichordew) – Art in Motion (November 2016)
Tanvi is currently working on a couple of personal projects and trying to expand her repertoire in a variety of art mediums. She is in the process of creating an online presence in the art community whilst being a second year BA Art & Design student at the University of Leeds, UK. Her hobbies include reading fiction and non-fiction, comics like manga and manhua, tennis, dancing, singing and playing her guitar.
“I have been painting and sketching for as long as she can remember, which led to her pursing her passion and taking up a professional degree in Art and Design,” says Tanvi.
She draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including but not limited to media such as Rajasthani miniature painting, calligraphy and cartoons by artists like Mario Miranda and R.K Laxman, the work of surrealist painters like Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali and creations by Michelangelo and Da Vinci that are known for their storytelling and vivid imagery.
Mansoor Toorani & David Jeffery
(@tooranim_ai or @tooranimation) and David Jeffery – Embraced by Bahrain (December 2011),
Hearts Everywhere (February 2016) and Artistic Beauty (November 2016) and more
These eight exquisite interpretations were a collaborative effort between Mansoor Toorani and David Jeffery.
“I have had a life-long passion for all digital art forms, from 3D modelling to animation to canvas and now digital 2D. My inspirations include nature, beauty, movies, culture, history and particularly the work of Frank Frazzetta,” says Mansoor, who is currently working on several projects around dystopian subjects.
Since studying at Maidstone College of Art, David’s career has taken numerous paths through the creative landscape, commencing as an art director/designer primarily on record sleeves for UK punk bands. He then moved into advertising, where he combined art direction with creative copywriting. For several years he worked successfully as a Creative Director for leading UK and Middle Eastern advertising agencies, as well as setting-up creative outfits in both Bahrain and Oman whilst winning several international awards along the way. In both 2016 and 2017 he represented the Middle East on the judging panel of the CAPELS advertising awards New York.
“These days, I am rediscovering my pure art roots by exploring and experimenting with multimedia concepts. As such, he is currently working on a series of mix media pieces combining found objects – recycled – then complemented by acrylic brushwork and AI. He is particularly inspired by Frida Khalo, David Hockney and Man Ray.
(@drdunia and @duniasart) – Cupped Hands Holding Pink Ribbon (October 2021)
Dunia is a self-taught artist who continues to experiment with new mediums and techniques. She believes in the crossover between crafts and fine art being a life-long crafter. Inspired by several miniature artists during her studies abroad, Dunia had been painting miniatures in several mediums, but mostly oil, since 2018. Many of these miniatures have been sold in affordable art and craft shows. Others were commissioned as gifts for friends and family.
Her favourite subjects are nature and portraits. According to her, painting these miniatures brought her peace and a place to meditate, while concentrating on the smallness of the work and shutting out world chaos. She is currently working on still life in oil painting.
(@art.irina.averinos and @irina.averinos) – Turquoise Necklace (November 2021), Valentine Tree (February 2016) and Xmas Bauble (December 2012)
Irina is an engineer, artist and art mentor. She is inspired by the beautiful scenery around her and started drawing from an early age. Her paintings have a great colour harmony and the beauty of nature is reflected in her work. Her paintings are warm and sunny, carrying a positive energy. She works primarily in oils due to their versatility, texture and ability to blend.
Irina has successfully participated in many art exhibitions, festivals and events in Bahrain and abroad. She was AWA Art Group Chairperson during 2009-2019 and curated several art exhibitions. She is a member of Bahrain Arts Society and the International Women›s Association.
In her words, she says: “I almost stopped painting during the pandemic. I had no inspiration at all, and started returning to the normal life little by little. Your invitation to paint the Bahrain This Month magazine cover was a great challenge for me and a big opportunity! I like this magazine… I’ve have read it for more than two decades!”
Bahrain National Day Reindeer
Anne is an amateur artist whose main role model is Banksy.
(@leenz_art) – Firouz (1998)
Leena is a Bahraini artist, designer and the founder and owner of Dar Alfann Gallery. Bahraini born and raised, she has been a gifted artist from a young age. As a child, she was fascinated with Japanese anime, particularly the work of Hayao Miyazaki, which used to air on the local TV channels. She mastered the art of drawing anime characters which influenced her later pieces. Her style can now be described as a fusion between Japanese manga and Bahraini folklore from a decidedly feminine perspective.
(@ai.panda.art) – Summer Odyssey (December 2021)
Rohit is a 21-year-old company co-founder and video game artist passionate about video games, art, music and technology. He is working on a video game for a corporate company, 3D Virtual experiences and AI generated art.