Born in Saudi Arabia, artist Mehreen Murtaza’s work explores broad themes of human existence and the progresses of modern of civilization. In her digital art, Murtaza dissects consumption patterns, and attempts to understand the intersecting worlds of technology and nature. In series such as Nuero York and Nenha, Murtaza examines the delicate balance between the existence of life and the necessary consumption of food, while remaining loyal to an appreciation for design and beauty. Murtaza works to examine iconography over many levels of discourse, including religion, technology, and myth.
Murtaza observes the world around her, often exploring themes relating to Islam. By rejecting the traditional wasli, pen, and brush, and opting to use contemporary tools such as computers and cameras, she renews past forms. While her work sparks debate, Murtaza explains that she is “less interested with political events per se…and more concerned with exploring the process of mediating the essence of an event through images.” Murtaza acts as an observer, exploring daily life in Pakistan rather than landmark political events. A true craftsman, Murtaza’s work is marked by her ability to challenge limitations while remaining true to her aesthetic integrity. As she notes, in her work “East meets West, hegemonies are dissolved, hierarchies are broken, and the clash of civilizations turns into a heady confluence.”