When Fay Al Salem started painting at the young age of seven, she was entranced by the way different patterns and brush methods worked together. After some exploration, she fell in love with pastel and chalk painting, and the versatility they allowed in her work. Now, more than 20 years later Al Salem has made a mark for herself by participating in more than a dozen Kuwait-centered galleries.
“My art has gone through phases,” she said. “In some I am looking for the simpler things in life, others I am attempting to capture innocence. In others I’m looking for the seductress in me.”
Born and raised in Kuwait, Al Salem was enriched with the sense of exploration and the need of a hobby. During the day, she can be found biking around the city, or playing squash or tennis. She completed her studies in accounting at the Gulf University for Science in Technology and has, for the past five years, worked in the financial sector.
But, when everyone else heads to bed, Al Salem’s creativity comes to life.
“I love to work late at night, preferably after 11pm when it’s a little quiet,” she said. “I put on some music and enjoy going crazy with some colors.”
Al Salem’s art is full of hidden treasures of thoughts and expressions that she explores in the dead of the night. In her series titled “Clowns” she made five large pieces that challenged your notion of the crude, sometimes scary, image of the children’s entertainer. In one piece the female is masked with intricate patterns, red lips and given bright blue eyes. Yet, her use of both dark and light colors shows deepness in the subject that is usually difficult to attribute to the comical character.
“The first time I participated with the clown in an art show someone told me it says that I am a very angry person,” she told bazaar. “But, it was the complete opposite because to me it was full of colors, and colors are life.”
Her love for colors shines through in every piece she does. In a portrait of her mother and father gorgeous hues of greens, pinks and yellows create closeness to the subjects. She uses the shades to create emotions that go beyond facial expressions to create a connection between the piece and those viewing it.
Her music pieces, a blue cello and piano player, are more active and express deep emotions brought to life with different hues of blues. The artwork flows like the notes of an incredible piece of music that captures the listener into silence. The same hues are used in a footsteps piece. The blue legs pound out a plethora of emotions translated into the real world by a multitude of colors and patterns. Each line captures the complexity of every step we take in life.
Al Salem is sometimes misunderstood, but that doesn’t bother her. “Most people do not get it,” she said. “They do not accept the boldness and faces. But I don’t do it to please the world, I do it to express my view of this world.”
Al Salem’s work has been displayed in popular events like the Mubarakiya Expo last February, and in three of the annual Al Qurain Exhibitions. While her original pieces are for sale online through her Instagram account, she has also started selling prints of her pieces on postcards, posters and greeting cards.
Check out @fayartscorner on Instagram to see more of her work and order your prints today!