“Everyone has their own dream and their own vision. When you believe that you can one day make your dream a reality, you can do it with your hard work,” says Mahnoush Abbasgholy, an Irani artist currently living in Muscat. Mahnoush had an ambitious dream as a teenager of painting for palaces and huge hotels, so as to make art not just the focal point of her life but also an instrument of connecting with people globally.
In the third episode of a new video series called Art Beats shot by Studio.t, Mahnoush disclosed that she not just harboured this dream from an early age but also worked her way towards it. However, nobody, including her family, believed that she would some day achieve this, she said, adding, “The only person who believed in me was myself.”
This series, sponsored by Purshottam Kanji exchange and Oman Avenues Mall, has Muscat Daily as the print partner and Knowledge Oman as the Knowledge partner. The idea behind this initiative is to interview various artists in Oman to provide budding artists as well as art enthusiasts in Oman with an outline about the challenges and scope of art as a new age medium of expression. Paintings donated by the artists will be later auctioned and the proceeds will go towards supporting the initiatives of Oman Cancer Association.
Hosted by Ibrahim Gailani, a self-taught contemporary artist of Iraqi and Pakistani descent living in Muscat, Art Beats has embarked on a unique journey and the participating artists have not only begun sharing nuances of their artistic encounters but also gaining insights for their own future endeavours. Founder of Art Retreat, Gailani is a well known name in artistic circles in Oman and has exhibited in the Middle-East, Europe and North America.
In Dubai, Mahnoush came in touch with a company that valued her talent and supported her by providing her access to prestigious projects wherein she could demonstrate her prowess with the paintbrush. Though she set out in Dubai carrying two paintings in her hand and trying to sell them, she ultimately got commissioned to take on prestigious work for wealthy clients in mansions and palaces around the world.
Working long hours on custom-made paintings for high-profile clients, Mahnoush admits that she always was focused and undeterred by any hurdles around her. What mattered was delivering as per the trust shown in her…and on time! Over the years, she has particularly excelled in portraits.
“There is a key for any success in your life. First of all, you have to know your stuff, and what you want from this life. Everyone has their own gifts. You’ve got to find out what gift you have got from God and you have to work hard on it. If you do that, you can meet success,” says Mahnoush, asserting that it was not a cakewalk for her all through, rather a journey of sincerity, dedication and hard work.
In Oman, Mahnoush has created several paintings of landscapes, monuments as well as realistic portraits of the late HM, Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the current His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, besides other prominent personalities. She has her own unique way of bringing feeling to a painting with her dexterous strokes and breathing life into it with keen attention to details.
When asked by Gailani about how she conjured up magic into her work, especially the portraits of the royalty in Oman, such that they appear truly real, Mahnoush quipped, “A good cook never reveals the secrets about the ingredients used.” He, however, rounded up the conversation saying, “You can’t know how she gets this, but what you can do is, buy it!”
Hard work, all the way
Mahnoush Abbasgholy describes herself as a mixed-media artist, with a modern, abstract style. Her preferred medium is acrylic on canvas, incorporating her signature silver and gold leaf, bringing an extra feeling of depth and movement to her paintings.
As her primary source of inspiration, Abbasgholy quotes a need to share her experiences and the things she has seen during her global travels. Her passion comes from self-improvement, curiosity for the world and a hunger for perfection.
Born in 1979 in Tehran, Iran, Mahnoush was fond of art and dreamed to become an accomplished artist as a teenager. She fervently pursued her dream and excelled in her artistic skills for six years in Dubai before coming to Oman three years ago.
Following the completion of her studies in Fine arts at the university of Tehran, was invited to Dubai by JC Maclean to assist in the final stages of the Ibn Buttuta Mall project. Her particular style made her the perfect artist to complete the Tunisian Court as well as elements of the Egypt Court, and her work can still be seen here today.
While working for Al Khamas Group in Dubai, she honed her skills as a commercial artist, working on hotel artwork and bespoke pieces for luxury restaurants and villas such as Ascott Hotels, Al Mankhool hotels and Bridgestone to name a few. She also worked on freelance projects for top-end brands Shangri-La and Grand Hyatt.
She then flew to San Francisco to exhibit her paintings in an exhibition at a local gallery, and continued her travels to Brazil and Europe where she worked on a range of high-end private projects, creating bespoke pieces for boutique hotels, top-range restaurants and private houses.
In 2017, Mahnoush moved to Muscat, where she still lives today. Her paintings of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, displayed at the Opera Galleria in a special 2018 Omani National Day exhibition propelled her to instant fame in Oman.
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