Born in Chitral, in 1977, Mutaib Shah pursued his degree in Fine Arts from the National College of Arts and graduated in 2009.
Although miniature painting is his main focus, Mutaib also works is other mediums including oil paints, water colors, acrylics, free hand drawing, printmaking, and sculpture.
The artist draws his inspiration from everyday surroundings, focusing on living things such as human beings, birds, animals, insects, and more. The real strength of his work lies in the specific way he actually shows his ideas. Instead of painting these things as they are, he adds some characteristic that capture the viewer’s attentions. His compositions and combination of forms begs the viewer to ponder for a while as to what they are seeing. He keeps adding something new to things that we see on a regular basis.
An example of such work is the firefly that has a human child’s face on it instead of its own. These kind of paintings make people think twice about its meaning, and the intricate details of his work simply add more appeal to it. “We live in indigenous culture which is reflected in us from everyday life to art. My art has been reflecting natural cycle of development unaware of its origin. We are in culmination state. Non constancy is part of our mind. We cater to this change not been aware of being conscious part of it. So my work is adaptation of un-aware influences in indigenous culture”.
Mutaib’s unique take on art has gained him national and international popularity. His work has been displayed in group exhibitions both in Pakistan and abroad, with some notable exhibitions having been held in Argentina, Dubai, France, India, and Saudi Arabia.
Currently, Mutaib is a lecturer at the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design in Lahore. He also is part of the visiting faculty in the Fatima Jinnah Women University in Rawalpindi. In the hope of transferring his own knowledge of art to others, he also holds art workshops in various schools and colleges in the lesser known regions of Chitral.