MY FABULOUS FRIDAY
Calligraphy artist by day, jet-skiing dad on the weekend: Meet Khalid Shahin.
ART OF COOKING
I’m a good cook and my family and friends always look forward to seeing my new recipes and new cooking inventions. My margherita pizza is always a big hit with my family. But it’s Japanese food that I’m a big fan of. My favourite dishes are yakitori and makizushi.
I love infusing calligraphy into my work. Arabic calligraphy adds the missing piece to an abstract work [so that] the viewer can receive what’s on the canvas in many different ways, through a quick journey inside the Arabic letters – curves, shapes and different forms.
THE DUBAI LIFE
I’m from Jordan and my decision to move to Dubai was taken in 1999 for so many reasons – new challenge, art community, potential clients and that Dubai is a modern city. I now live here with my small family. On weekends, I love hanging out with my kids at The Dubai Mall, or going for a desert safari or jet ski with them.
If I had a time machine, I’d go to Old Jerusalem because it’s a city filled with history, religions and cultural diversity. But for now, I’d like to travel to Colombia. Bogota, the capital city of Columbia, is famous for its graffiti and it marked a creative new epoch for the city whose flyovers, office blocks and municipal walls became canvases for some of the world’s best-loved street artists. That trip will also give me the chance to have a close look at Fernando Botero’s artwork and sculptures.
TO START WITH
My interest in art began in the late eighties when I was in Kuwait and my late father encouraged me to focus on art and design as a profession for the future. He felt then that I’m gifted and I have the basic talent to be an artist. In 1986 I won a logo design competition and that was the first spark.
I find my inspiration everywhere – in nature, books, art websites, galleries. Artists and painters like Ettore DeGrazia, Frank Brangwyn, Fernando Botero and Enrique Grau have inspired me.
In 2002 one of my works was acquired by Buenos Aires City Hall – they hung it at the main entrance. I was very proud of that. My favourite creative collaboration was a project I did with fashion designer Zena Presley. We worked on a project for Four Seasons hotel chain to create a unique piece of custom-made couture for guests that featured my artwork.
FEAT OF CLAY
Apart from painting, I also sometimes play with clays and ceramics. Ceramic art is amazing: once you start you’ll never know when it ends or ends with what. The most physically challenging artwork I’ve created was a sculpture dedicated to my late mother. It took me nine weeks or so to get it done.
Calligraphy, cooking and a trip to Bogota are what’s on this artist’s mind. That’s if he’s not busy creating new art for his social media fans or jet skiing with his kids