A child is the only free artist in the world

About the Artist

Abdul Raheem Salem Khamis was born in 1955 in Dubai. He studied at Dubai’s public schools, and completed his university studies at the University of Cairo in Egypt, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and sculpture in 1981.

He began working as an art education teacher in Emirates schools, then went on to participate in several fairs and art festivals at the local, Gulf, Arab and international level. Salem is one of the first UAE artists to contribute to its fine arts movement through teaching, organizing training workshops and embracing young talent.

He had a brilliant academic background in sculpture that culminated in a degree from Cairo. He was immersed in his paintings depicting the rapid changes in life. Abdul Raheem has always remained loyal to the mystical world of art which had left indelible imprints in his subconscious mind.

Abdul Raheem Salem: We used to wait for the arrival of our relatives from Ras Al Khaimah loaded with small gifts.

Abdul Raheem Salem: A child is the only free artist in the world. How I wish I were a child more than an artist.

The charms of his childhood days became part of his personality, just like the scent of sea. He was also greatly influenced by the tale of “Maheera,” woven more from imagination than reality. It is the tale of an enchanting woman who refuses a marriage proposal from a man.

As revenge, he bewitches her and she becomes insane.

Abdul Raheem Salem: This woman gave me insight and I fell in love with her. I sought to be her voice in my artwork since she cannot express herself.

For Abdul Raheem, Maheera was merely a window to his rich backyard of art.