Looking at the 19 paintings at the exhibition of Abdulla Al Muharraqi which opened yesterday at the Waqif Art Center, one could not help but be drawn into utter perplexity of finding a way to reconcile the paintings’ overall form and the painter’s age.
The paintings of septuagenarian painter Al Muharraqi reveal a modernist approach to art with traces of simple cubism incorporated into his own style he acquired through his over five decades of experience in art. Every stroke of brush creating every line and hue on the canvas manifests exceptional finesse in tackling a very diverse set of subjects from the slowly transforming Arabic tradition to mythological and folkloric narratives to common human activities and issues of ecological, political, and religious import.
“His works are exquisite! It’s like you are in a three-dimensional world. When you look at his paintings you are transported to another realm, eerie but amazing!” Debbie Mendez, one of the art enthusiasts present at the inauguration told The Peninsula. “His attention to details shows his exceptional knowledge of colour blending and scheming,” she added. One of the most expensive paintings on show priced at QR141,000, ‘The Trap: The Traditional Tale of Abou Darya’ captures on frame a scary part of the story but the aesthetic technique makes it undeniably a feast for the eyes.
Another manifestation of the artist’s genius is his work titled ‘Hajj Mabrour’ which shows a man’s ritual of shaving after the Hajj ceremony to let go of his sins. Even just in one canvas, the painter clearly communicates the significance of the practice and devotion to one’s religion. Al Muharraqi gives high regard to women in some of his paintings titled ‘Union and Challenge’, ‘Girls’ Melodies’ and ‘The Bedouin Lady’. “When beauty and mind meet in one woman she prevails over men and all creatures,” Al Muharraqi said. Hailed as one of the greatest artists in the Arab world, Al Muharraqi has received accolades from many organisations and art critics across the globe. He has already staged exhibitions in Doha for a number of times and was recognized by Qatar through creation of Muharraqi Hall in the Qatar National Museum exhibiting the works of the great painter.
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