Sharif was born in UAE in 1951 and he died in 2016 at the age of 65 years.
He did his art school training in the UK in the 1980s. There, he came in contact with Tam Giles and his ideas of abstract and experimental art, which influenced him. He lived in Dubai where he helped to set up different spaces to promote and support young and upcoming artists of UAE.
Sharif is known for taking ordinary objects of daily living and assembling them together in big heaps to create his art installations.
Sharif's art at Venice Biennale
At the 2017 Biennale, different works of Sharif from different time periods starting from mid-1980s, were brought together to give an overview of his main artistic ideas. This exhibition was called "Supermarket" and included mixed materials such as textiles, papers, iron hardware, books and boxes.
Today, it is not always easy to define art and to understand its boundaries. It is not about artistic skills and mastery, rather it is a way of looking at the world and rediscovering emotions and feelings. Sharif's art is such. For example, look at the assemblage of old files tied together in the image below, which can be a common sight in old Government offices. Sharif makes you look at them in a new way by appreciating their textures and forms.