Amira Rahim and Her Colorful World

 Amira Rahim:  Fae Flower

Amira Rahim: Fae Flower

I was new to Dubai and feeling odd in the place. Usually when I feel overwhelmed or I need to do something to actively brighten my day I walk into the closest floral shop and smell the blooms and see the bright colors until everything is ok again. Dubai is not full of flower shops so I walked into a art gallery hoping I’d see some art that would speak to me. I found happiness in a painting called “Hanna”. A technicolor camel stared at me from across the shop as if to say, “What’s up?”, like an old friend. I didn’t buy the painting due to the fact that I am location independent and I don’t carry art from country to country (anymore). I went back to my apartment and immediately followed Amira on Instagram. After that day I spotted Amira Rahim’s work everywhere and it always warmed my heart. 

 

Introducing: Amira Rahim, abstract artist

Art for me was always a hobby, my escape from the pressures of school, from other people, a cathartic exercise I’d do when I needed to get away. It wasn’t something I even considered when it came to picking a college major or a career. Instead, I studied for law school, fell in love with sociology, and painted when I needed a reprieve.

 Amira Rahim:  Hanna

Amira Rahim: Hanna

In truth, it wasn’t until I watched The Art of Getting By that I realized I was an artist not using my talent. The realization hit me hard—I felt like I’d wasted 23 years of my life and that I had to hurry up and get to artist status fast. I started painting every day, modeling my work after some of my favorite realist painters, Van Gogh, Picasso and Impressionist painters.

And though I was fairly good at realism, I couldn’t get it to the expressive qualities I wanted. I was too tight, or technically good, as they say.

 Amira Rahim: Samba em Salvador

Amira Rahim: Samba em Salvador

Fortunately, I took some advice and gave abstract art—i.e. painting my emotions—a try. I took an old beach scene I’d done and added crazy colors to it. I called it Heat Wave, and almost as soon as I shared it, four people asked to buy it—it was the start of my career.

Since then, I’ve learned to trust the process. I’ve slowed down. I’ve taken breaks. And what keeps me coming back is this human desire to be seen, to expose my innermost self and share her with others. Painting is my way of honoring my time on earth. It’s my way of paying homage to the human experience. And it’s a process that moves me every day.

For me, painting is as much intuitive as it is technical. It’s a combination of who I am—the artist and the teacher-researcher. Most days, I spend the morning immersed in my materials, wrapped in a cocoon of incredible hues and bright color schemes. Occasionally, I’ll listen to a podcast on marketing or business, but for the most part, I embrace the stillness, the blank canvas, the colors waiting to co-mingle. It’s meditative, hypnotizing, and the best way for me to express the human experience.

 

LifestyleClaire Blumenthal