Jun 7, 2024 - Things to Do

Camera Roll: "Ballads of East and West"

Photo of two people talking, with a projection of an ornate studio.

Artist Raqib Shaw and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston director Gary Tinterow talk about Shaw's previous studio, which burned down, and how it inspired his paintings. Photo: Shafaq Patel/Axios

👋 Shafaq here! I went to watch Raqib Shaw talk this week about his new "Ballads of East and West" exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and I got to preview the exhibit.

State of the exhibit: Shaw's paintings combine iconic Western art references with his Kashmiri background.

  • The magnificent paintings have such intricacies — Shaw uses porcupine quills and fine needles to paint all the details.

Between the lines: Inspired by the beautiful Kashmir Valley and its bright flowers, Shaw created an ornate garden-studio space where he's surrounded by nature.

  • Shaw's childhood in Kashmir shines through all of his work.
  • He also paints with enamel, which adds a lustrous effect. To top it off, he uses embossed gold and bedazzles his paintings to add to the grandeur.

If you go: The show opens Sunday and is on view until Sept. 2.

  • MFAH adult tickets are $24.
Photo of a detailed nature painting.
You could get lost in the details. Photo: Shafaq Patel/Axios


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