Our very own ‘Arab Mona Lisa’: Da Vinci's got nothin' on us!
Sheikh Zayed bin Suroor Al Nahyan inaugurated the prestigious Samar Arts exhibition yesterday at Avenue at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi s first standalone high-end luxury shopping destination. The impressive oil, water and acrylics pieces from celebrated Emirati artist Dr. Samar Al Shamsi will be on exhibit at Avenue at Etihad Towers until 7th August 2013.
Following a ribbon cutting by Sheikh Zayed Bin Suroor Al Nahyan, the event also saw the unveiling of the Arab Mona Lisa piece in the UAE for the very first time. Inspired by the Mona Lisa of Leonardo Da Vinci and symbolising the core of oriental Arab beauty, the Arab Mona Lisa will serve as the centrepiece of the exhibition, which also showcases twelve other key pieces that represent the challenges of globalisation in realistic, abstract and surreal art forms. Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Al Shamsi said: "As an Emirati artist who has exhibited all over the world, I am continuously striving to push the limits in my own work and to encourage other Arab artists to do the same, and it is an honour to have Sheikh Zayed bin Suroor Al Nahyan hosting my exhibition at Avenue at Etihad Towers." In addition to comprising abstract and surreal pieces, Dr. Al Shamsi s portfolio is also celebrated for commissioned portraits of high profile individuals, including the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and US President Barack Obama, whose portrait is displayed in the library of The White House.
Among her numerous international awards, Dr. Al Shamsi was most recently honoured with the Excellence in the Arts Award by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee of Michigan. This marked the first time an Arab woman received the prestigious award, which is presented to distinguished artists in the field of art, music and entertainment.
The unveiling took place in the presence of distinguished members of the UAE military, police and diplomatic community.