Young Emirati artist Maitha Demithan is doing great things in photography - or, scanography to be more precise - at young age. In 2009 Demithan's first scanography series of self portraits titled Documentation, was exhibited at Lateefa bint Maktoum's (more on her later) studio and gallery Tashkeel. Demithan then exhibited at the Brisbane Biennial, Art Dubai, and is currently showing at the Bastikiya gallery XVA. It is encouraging to see an Emirati artist of such potential getting noticed in the U.A.E., where, with some notable exceptions, so many of the galleries there rely on Iranian artists. While it's true, Iran produces some of the greatest artists in the region (and more of them), there is a lot of great non-Iranian art being overlooked.
Of her scanography, Demithan says, "The human figure has always been of interest to me, and this unusual way of looking at it, especially with the absence of depth of field and 3D form, I have found it to be like a form of documentation, as if the figure was a document. A flat bed scanner is normally used for the reproduction of two-dimensional images/documents or to make a copy from an original."
A very introspective artist, Demithan, it seems, is becoming more self aware with every project and the recent media attention and interview requests have only intensified the time she must spend thinking about, explaining and defending or rethinking her work.
On her blog she writes "From the questions that I've been asked I've realised that all my art is mostly about woman. Does that reflect how much time I spend with woman, and how much little encounter I have with men. I remember my vain trials, trying to sketch or paint a man and 'failing' – the men I sketch always look like woman. Does that happen because I sketch females all the time, or because I haven't spent enough time studying the male structure? What surprises me even more is that I am always attracted to feminist art such as the art of Shirin Nishat. I have nothing against men but I've never really spent enough time with them – other than family members, whom even if I draw would look like me anyway!"