Starting photography at an early stage of his life, Al Moutasim Al Maskery entered the journey of this art through a KFC Flat cam when he was only 12. He has always been interested in analogue photos and black and white darkroom techniques.
Al Moutasim always saw his father as his motivator and on that matter, he says:
“As a kid, my father used to document his trips around the sultanate and take beautiful photos, although I wanted to be a marine biologist. And taking photos started as a hobby by taking photos of the family and the outdoors, but was hoping to turn it into a career.”
His photos have a lot to say and in a lot of them, we find themes of gender identity, heritage and environment.
Opportunities don’t just come in most cases, they have to be made. Al Moutasim knew this so well. He didn’t wait for a chance to come. He joined one of the biggest journalism companies in the word; AP Press as an internship. During that time, he started to show his photos until he was featured in the breaking news and from here, doors began to open.
Al Moutasim has participated in many exhibitions. To name some, he participated in “Basically Human”, organized by AUD in Arizona in 2006, Art Space Gallery in Dubai in 2007, Emergence Exhibition in NYC, Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai where the gallery offered to exclusively sign him for a permanent display of his art pieces, and Sequence Exhibition.
He created photography art collections like Pro Divers Dancing with Death - Pearl Diving which has a strong concept that talks about divers in the region whom always face death. Currently, he is working on a project called “Beyond the Fog” which is a 7-year project that is still ongoing. It talks about the changing environment in Dhofar.
Such an artist will definitely make great achievements like a photo of the American navy that shot on a fishing boat killing one person, and that was the breaking news at AP Press, GLT fire in Dubai and the last photo Mikhail Gorbadheb in his hotel room In Sharjah, and other great world leaders.
Every art piece Al Moutasim sells comes with a certificate of authenticity, the name and the number of photograph and signature of the artist seal to recognize that is original. All the art pieces are limited and guarantee colour won't fade because of the paper print I use. All artworks are sold in galleries that are displayed printed in Hahnemuhle paper that is 500 years old and has 7 copies only. Thus the prices of his artworks start at 7k UAE dirhams.
All artists of all kinds are inspired by the work of someone. Al Moutasim biggest inspirations are Robbert Capa, Stanly Green and Sebastiao Salgado.
Criticism and feedback are important for one’s journey as they can provide a chance to reach a competitive edge and Al Moutasim’s journey wasn’t free of criticism. In Dubai a journalist described the WO-man artwork being sexist, although in Paris he got praised by the most important critic in the industry.
“If an artwork generates positive or negative interest means its successful, because an artwork is meant to generate discussions.”