He surprised people by painting the sea yellow

About the Artist

Taha Mohammed Saleh Mohammed Ali al-Sabban was born in Mecca and became one of the first renowned artists in Saudi Arabia. He issued his first book, Features of a Journey, in 2001. Sabban is a member of the Culture and Art association in Jeddah, as well as a founding member of the house of Fine Arts in Jeddah. He has held several local and international exhibitions, and is displayed many in private and public collections, including the one in the King Abdulaziz International Airport. He has received numerous awards, certificates and honorary medals.

Taha al-Sabban’s art sheds light on the significance of his birth in Mecca, and how the city shaped his sensitive character.

Taha al-Sabban: Most of my paintings embody the sublime, which underlines my passion with this concept.

Traditionally, artists impart an aura of beauty to the places they live in. On the contrary, Al Sabban paints man with colors of ghosts and leaves him at the disposal of the place, which is the unrivaled hero in his paintings.

Taha al-Sabban: Man has a great role in deciding the character of a place. Women impart a touch of beauty on places from inside, while men do the same, yet from the outside.

Al Sabban has stepped beyond the visible fine line separating the murals and paintings. He is adept in both techniques without compromising the value of colors.

Taha al-Sabban: I still recall my mosque painting, which had its bedrock color in yellow as a representation of the sea. People were confused and argued whether it is logical to portray the sea in yellow.

The prestigious houses and bungalows of Hejaz are the cornerstones in his long-running art projects. They are part of his vocabularies and tools to which he is largely attached.

Taha al-Sabban: I enjoy water color painting. I once tried to use acrylic, but my experience was not happy.