Al Saleh, Maisoon

Born in 1988, the up-and-coming Emirati artist and entrepreneur Maisoon Al Saleh is active in her practice both in Dubai and internationally. She graduated from Zayed University in 2010, with a degree in Interior Design. Al Saleh’s first solo show was at the Maraya Art Center, Sharjah, in Autumn 2010.

Al Saleh’s work has been exhibited in UAE at various exhibitions, including Art Dubai; Emirati Expression at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi; Macedonian Museum, Greece; Palazzo TE Museum, Italy; Centro Cultural CajaGRANADA Memoria de, Spain; and her work has also been included in many shows in the United States. Her work is also included in the Barjeel Art Foundation collection in Sharjah.


Money doesn’t float, 2012 Digital photo Lambda print, 75×100 cm £ 2888


Her art dives, sometimes literally, below the obvious meaning residing on the surface of stories and accounts of the past. Al Saleh focus on bones and skulls as a means of telling stories that transcend age and gender. She’s inspired in part by historic representational art, like the famous early twentieth century Calaveras (skull) prints of Mexican artist José Guadelupe Posada. In each painting, skeletal compositions reveal stories from Emirati life, culture and history, asserting new meaning that undermines the bones’ symbolic association with death and poison.

In her second solo show, The Dara Chronicles she produced a set of mixed media images that explore stories and documented accounts of the Dubai-based M.V. Dara, a passenger liner that exploded in the Gulf on April 8th, 1961. She grew up hearing stories from my grandfather about that night on the vessel.

Beginning with an exploratory dive at the Dara gravesite itself, she exhaustively researched the event, seeking out experiences retold from different personal perspectives. The resulting art works were inspired by letters about the incident written by the shipping company and police investigators, news articles, and stories told by survivors or family members of those who perished in the shipwreck. She further juxtapose different cultural viewpoints through the presence of three suitcases symbolising the different nationalities on board—British, Indian and GCC passengers. Portraits of passengers, stories of the explosion and the events that followed illuminate personal narratives versus media accounts.

Through these strategies Al Saleh bring viewers into a discussion about the importance of Emirati history and challenge how we think about history, memory and their representation in mainstream media.


Group Shows

UAE (Painting, Installation, Sculpture)

 2016  Art Dubai, selected as part of the CAD 4.0  and the produced artwork was exhibited there

 2016  Artworks featured in a book publication titled Contemporary Art of Excellence – Volume 2

 2015 Farjam Foundation at DIFC, Dubai had exhibited one of my paintings in an exhibition titled 1971 Contemporary Art from The UAE 

 2015 Marayah Art Centre in Sharjah exhibited two of my sketches that had been part of their Burgeoning Collection

 2015 Greif-online artwork had been placed for auction at Paddle8 in collaboration with START 

 2015 Was selected as one of the most influential artist’s and gave a speech regarding my artistic journey at the Amarican University of Sharjah at the “Promise Of A Generation” event 

 2015 Had been commissioned by Brand Dubai to create an art installation and was exhibited during the opening of Dubai Design District 

2015 A Spanish magazine called “ DuckOut” had featured all my atchivments in art  

 2015 The Artist Diary series had been featured in the Emirates Diaries Magazine 

 2015 The Artist Diary series on the YouTube Channel got lunched 

 2015 Participated at the Orange Saturday Latvian & Emirati Artist’s Day at the Art Hub Abu Dhabi 

 2015 Exhibited my artworks at the 33th Annual Exhibition at the Sharjah Art Museum

 2014 Curated an art show titled “KUFIC” in collaboration with Al Jalila Foundation to raise funds for medical research at DUCTAC, Dubai 

 2014 Been selected as one of the top 6 digital artists in UAE by CANVAS Magazine 

 2014 Had been commisioned by the well known watch brand Baume & Mercier to create an interactive artwork inspired by their new watch “Promesse” that had been displayed at the Ara Gallery

 2014 Was part Of the judging panel for Dubai Cares art competition titled My Dubai to select the winners 

 2014 Author Jo Tatchell had wrote about me in a book titled “ A Diamond in the Desert” and had been published 

 2014 Art Dubai, Dubai

 2013 Art Bus, Dubai

 2013 ART 4 SIGHT, Auction by Christies,  Dubai

 2013 .Aliel Art Night at DIFC“, Dubai

 2013 Burj of Giving, , Dubai Maii, Dubai

 2013 Rira Gallery, Dubai

 2013 Universal Childrens Day organized by START, Dubai

 2011 29th Annual Exhibition of EFAS at Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah

 2011 “MinD” group exhibition at DUCTAC, Dubai

2011 Exhibited my installation at The Annual Exhibition of Emirates Fine Arts  Society in Sharjah Art Museum.

2011 Sikka Art Fair at Bastakiya, Dubai

2010 Exhibited my Mega ” customized toy ” at Virgin Store.

2010 Exhibited my Mega “customized toy” at DIFC 2010.

2010 Exhibited a painting and a sculpture at Al Bastakiya Art Fair  on the 15th of March until 21st of March.

2010 Exhibited my painting at the Portrait of a Generation exhibition at Tashkeel.

2010 Exhibited my interior design work at the talent exhibition that was organized by Dubai customs.

2009 Worked on a car by my own for the Art Cars Exhibition that’s exhibited in Manarat Al Saadiyat from 25th of October until the 30th of November in Saadiyat Island.

2009 Exhibiting my capstone interior design project in trade center called 7:20 from the 16th until 21st of June.

2009 worked on a car that was exhibited at DFC where the cars got sold as a found raiser for the Autism Center.

2008-2009 I’ve been selected as one of the 64 best Emirati artists in UAE and had my paintings exhibited in Gallery One tilted as Emirati Expressions at Emirates palace year.