Artists’ refuge to abstractionism ends in stalemate

About the Artist

Bahraini Artist Jamal Abdul Raheem is one of most prominent Bahraini modern artists, who are extensively exhibited in Europe and the Middle East. He was born in 1965 in Al Muharraq city, Bahrain. Abdul Raheem is Jury member in the 26th Mini Print International of Cadaqués, Spain in 2006.

His story with art started when he returned from India in 1984. Towards the end of 1979 he decided to go back to India where he studied the engineering of drawing for four years.

Umm Kalthoum, Marlon Brando, Hend Rostum, Asmahan, and Abdul Haleem Hafez are prominent figures who left an indelible mark in history. Bahraini artist Abdul Raheem has drawn oil portraits of all these great personalities which helped establish his outstanding stature.

Jamal Abdul Raheem: Portrait painting is not easy and many artists fail to unlock the secrets of this discipline, and try to use a bigger canvas as if that would help.

Though artists might feel tempted by their prowess in art and colors techniques, Abdul Raheem chose to maintain a close proximity with reality in his paintings.

Jamal Abdul Raheem: My art is inspired by the principle of pure reality. I don’t follow any school of art per se, but focus on the materials. At the end of the day, artwork is a part of aesthetics.

Abdul Raheem is keen to make the colors speak for themselves, to act as true manifestation of reality, particularly when saturating his characters with immense light to show every facet of their features.

Jamal Abdul Raheem: I apply warm colors as we are living in a hot climate with plenty of sunlight. Therefore, it is not bizarre to use strong colors most times.

Jamal Abdul Raheem: In the old days, they used gold as a reflection of sunlight and silver of moonlight. Gold and silver hold an important space in our day-to-day life and are even offered in marriage ceremonies.