Skin by Karen Dias and Fathima Mohiuddin

Skin is a collaboration between Dubai based photographer Karen Dias and artist Fathima Mohiuddin.

Fathima draws with a compulsion and her surfaces range from windows to walls, furniture and skin. Although Fathima’s practice of drawing on skin is often likened to tattooing and henna, for her it is more about her subjectivity and the process of making her mark. Her marks embody her individuality and when she draws on someone it is an intimate experience that initiates a silent dialogue between the artist and subject. It also creates a tension between the drawings and the person being drawn on, giving the drawings the quality of ‘wearable’ art.

“The process of drawing on someone, and in particular drawing on myself, is very surreal and personal for me. It’s not about aesthetics as much as it is about the implication of me placing my unique marks on somebody else’s body. I’m not just adorning and decorating the human body, I’m challenging it”. Fathima Mohiuddin

Karen’s avid interest in body art and photographing the body as a form was what first drew her to Fathima’s art. Having been inspired in the past by photographers like of Man Ray, Helmut Newton, Erwin Olaf and Ellen Von Unwerth, Karen enjoys playing with shapes, curves and patterns in her work by challenging conventional composition and technique. In the process of making these images, Karen aimed to emphasize the abstract lines and forms of the art in relation to the human anatomy making all images visually connected and cohesive.

“Through these photographs, I aimed to extend the way we look at the human body and how I could transform it into more than biology; to make it unknown, yet distinguished and surreal. I wanted to create a connection and inseparability between the abstract of the body and the art on it.” Karen Dias

The resulting work is a striking set of black and white images of heavy black artwork on the human body. Both spent hours coming up with creative new ideas for postures and locations and putting together the final selection of images as the viewer gets a strong sense of both their presences in the photographs.


Exhibition details:
Opening night: 6th April at 7pm. The exhibition will run till 30th April
Location: Portfolio Gallery, Al Serkal Avenue, Al Quoz, Dubai (Sat-Thu 9am-7pm).
Phone: +971 4 323 2395

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Fathima Mohiuddin's website

Karen Dias' website