Dubai still life exhibit inspired by classics

On first inspection, Amir H Fallah’s Circling the World to Return is as attractive as its influences; the layered textures of spring fruits and flowers leaping out from a black background take obvious inspiration from the Dutch and Flemish still life painting that flourished in the 17th century. However, on closer inspection and almost concealed by its darkened tones, a plump rat is scampering through the foliage.

“When I finished the show, that rat was my favourite part out of all the paintings,” says Fallah. “I really like the fact that he is kind of camouflaged. From far away the painting looks pleasant, it is circular and inviting and you are getting sucked into this vortex and then there is a dirty fat rat in the middle of it. It fights with the beautiful colours, layering and composition.”

The painting is the showpiece of Fallah’s current exhibition, The Arrangement, up in the

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