A closer look at one of Qatar's most promising young artists: Bouthayna Al Muftah
Brush strokes from the East by Emergeast
outhayna Al Muftah is a 27-year-old emerging Qatari artist, who is slowly taking the local and regional art scenes by storm. We're pretty sure it is only a matter of time until the young talent hits the international radar too.
Bouthayna's artistic style resembles the forms of Picasso, rawness of Jackson Pollock, the brushstrokes of Cy Twombly and the cultural Eastern infusions of, well... Bouthayna Al Muftah. Inspired by some of the world's most revered masters of our modern era, Bouthayna's rising star is her talent to possess such artistic ingenuity laced with distinctly palpable elements from the East – her spontaneous brushstroke and abstract form bears fruit to expressionist art that is composed so elegantly, that only Bouthayna Al Muftah can pull off.
Bouthayna hails from the small town of Doha, where her home country’s history has been the driving force behind her artworks’ subject matter.
Coming from a graphic design past, the young talent has been exploring tangible elements from her heritage – her depiction of old jewellery and local personalities, dubbed her ‘Faces’ series, are very unique in their commentary of Qatari culture, making a marked stamp in the art landscape so early on in her career.
This talented Qatari artist has recently participated in a widely received exhibition in Doha, Here There, where her 'Faces' series were the main characters of the show. Her hugely successful reception was indicative of the power her 'Faces' have on drawing in a large audience. Having presented herself through her signature style, since her career's inception, we wanted to delve a little further and give you more insight on the background of these very special personalities...
Your work fuses tradition and beauty rooting from Qatari heritage, how do you wish to influence others through your creative expression?
I believe that heritage is a very important element in how a country evolves. It is something that is truly important to me, and one of my favourite things about my home country. Many places around the world tend to lose these signatures of their roots through modern technology and the exponential development we see now. I want my work to remind others who we are, where we came from, and not to lose ourselves in the process of getting there.
Your 'Faces' series has gained much attention and praise – can you tell us about the personalities behind these faces?
My 'Faces' do not depict any certain person or individual. My concept does not revolve so much around the people as much as they portray an idea or a memory of being in that time or place. Each face tells its own story, that which each individual can relate to in his or her own way.
"the style with which I approach my artwork may evolve, but the roots of my artistic style will always remain and be present in all my future pieces."
As an artist early in their career – do you feel you have found your signature style through your Faces works?
I can say with no doubt that I have. My work on this series truly represents me as an artist, both visually and emotionally.
Your work is driven heavily by your home country's culture and heritage – has there been any other inspirational environment that you wish to explore? Would that change your style of work?
As of yet, I still see so much richness in my own country's heritage, that I have not given any thought to exploring elsewhere. Preserving these memories in my pieces is a key element in what I produce – reminders of little things we cherish and hope to never forget. The style with which I approach my artwork may evolve, but the roots of my artistic style will always remain and be present in all my future pieces.
After your amazing reception at Doha's much anticipated Here There exhibition – your exhibited work, whether in your 'Faces' series or your jewellery-inspired brushstrokes, a poignant story can be felt. What's the next chapter in Bouthayna Al Muftah's tradition-inspired story?
It has always been a dream of mine to see my work in the galleries that held artwork that took my breath away. Growing up I spent a lot of time in London and one of my favourite galleries is the Saatchi. I look forward to expanding my artistic horizons and continue to strive towards my goals. Recently, I have become more and more interested in mixed media and printmaking which I would like to explore further in my own signature way.