Art is subjective. But every artist needs to be given credit where credit is due. And Bahrain has no shortage of talented artists specializing in various mediums. So we thought we could shine a spotlight on some of these artists, in a segment called Local Artist of the Week In Spotlight. Our next feature? A member of Art Attack Krew, Maryam.
Maryam is a psychedelic artist. Let’s take a dive into her mind.
Local Artist of the Week
• Could you give our readers a general introduction about yourselves?
I’m Maryam and I’m a 27-year-old self-taught artist. I’ve always enjoyed drawing but after I finished studying Interior design and got my bachelor’s degree in 2018, I needed a break to find myself. And I started with some gauche paint and brushes I had used in some courses in interior design. Years later I switched to acrylic colors and I found my art style which is psychedelic art. The main subject in my paintings now is ultraviolet colors and mushrooms! My main goal is to create pieces that can take us to a different universe for a brief moment from the real world. With the use of ultraviolet colors, the paintings are presented in two different scenes, and the viewers can analyze them with their perspective on what it might mean.
• How and Why did you join Art Attack Krew?
I joined Art Attack Krew recently in mid-December 2021, after I participated in a few events, I met some of the members in the krew. I was fascinated with their talent, energy, and the community they have together. Their beautiful murals that I admired and the diversity of different types of art within the group. I wanted to be part of their community to learn and create beautiful pieces with them and shine a light on the amazing art in Bahrain with them.
• Could you tell us a little about your process? How an idea ultimately becomes a finished piece?
I get my inspiration in lots of different ways, it can be from paintings, pictures, or music. I connect to art in a way that takes me to a different place, I capture the feeling and the vibes I get. or even read/listen to people’s experiences with the hallucinogens (That inspired the psychedelic art movement in the late 60s and early 70s) and I try to visualize it and sketch it to later turn it into a painting on a canvas.
• Who are the three artists you admire?
I have always admired Tim Burton’s art and his work is very inspiring, I love the characters and the aesthetic he brings to the movies he directs. it’s like you don’t need to know that Tim Burton was the artist/director in a movie because you instantly know by seeing the mixture of the vibrant colors and dark feels in it. It’s fascinating and beautiful to observe. all from the main characters to the small details in the background.
•What wouldn’t you do without?
A pencil and paper, it’s the way I put down my ideas. Either to draw or write down the mixture of colors I’m going to use in my next piece.
•What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Whenever people tell me that looking at my paintings feels like looking into a different universe I feel like I achieved the goal that I’m aiming for.
•What role do you think art plays in society?
I think art is necessary for society because it tells a lot about all the different styles people pick up based on the environment. It’s wonderful to see the art in every different country and see the influences the artists had growing up. I believe you can learn a lot about a place and the people through art. Kind of like how we got to learn a lot about Ancient Egyptians beliefs through paintings and drawings that.
•Theres this famous saying, “all good art comes from misery”. Do you agree with that?
Each artist expresses their emotions differently and all art is very unique in my opinion. But personally when it comes to where I started and how my art was… I mean it’s all there in my Instagram handle (Melancholy art). I was in a different place artistically and my paintings strongly reflected my emotions at the time, but somehow art is very therapeutic and I never thought that I would find my style in a very vibrant colorful place like psychedelic art. But the Instagram handle is a great reminder of the place that I was in when I first started sharing my art online and to appreciate everything and everyone’s support during that time.
•What’s the biggest obstacle you have run into while pursuing art?
In February 2021 I was faced with a huge challenge that forced me to get rid of all my previous paintings, my paint bottles, and my brushes due to some damage that occurred to them and they were unsalvageable. It was painful to go through it and I thought I’d give up because it took me years to collect my supplies. And weeks to finish the paintings that I had to let go of. But in October I knew I had to get the supplies again and start over after taking the 7 month-long breaks, I wasn’t ready to give up and I don’t think I will ever be.