Kuwaiti Artist who painted Mahatma Gandhi

IIK Staff Reporter
Tuesday, February 23, 2021

On 30th January, when the whole India is celebrating Martyr's Day, Indian Embassy in Kuwait unveiled a beautiful portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at its auditorium. The painting will be more beautiful once you come to know about the wonderful painter. It was painted by the famous Kuwaiti artist Mr. Mahmoud Al-Qattan.

Last year, when an Indian Embassy officer visited Kuwait Arts Association hall, it was his casual talk to a group of Kuwaiti artists to paint Gandhiji. But for Mahmoud Al-Qattan, it was not just a diplomatic talk. He took the challenge and started exploring Mahatma Gandhi.

"It was a difficult task to paint Gandhi," Mr. Qattan told IndiansinKuwait.com. He started collecting Gandhi's images from internet, reviewed a lot of books and even watched the famous film "The Gandhi".

"During that time I got an opportunity to travel to South Africa and I happened to visit one of the museums there where I saw lot of Gandhi's photos," said Mr. Qattan. This gave me more inspiration to paint Gandhi, he said.

Mahmoud Al-Qattan, a retired officer from Kuwait Army, is a well-known artist among the citizens. Focusing on portrait paintings, he uses several medium and the favourite one is oil on canvas. He has received several recognitions locally and internationally.

A Member of Kuwait Arts Association, many of his paintings are exhibited at the Art Association hall in Hawally.

Kuwait Arts Association is a gathering place for all Kuwaiti Artists. They have around five permanent galleries at their headquarters at Hawally. Members paintings are always exhibited there and it is free to visit and enjoy the collection.

They also conduct drawing classes for the art enthusiast for a nominal charge. Irrespective of your nationality, anyone can join their classes. Mahmoud Al-Qattan has his own separate studio where he trains young children specialized in portraits.

Gandhiji is not the only Indian face attracted to Qattan's canvas. A Bollywood fan, Qattan had earlier painted the king of Bollywood Mr. Sharukh Khan and Salman Khan, both paintings were highly appreciated by his Kuwaiti friends.

"Painting Gandhi was not an easy task," Qattan said. After collecting and examining 100s of photos of Gandhiji from the net, the toughest part came next. "Most of the images are black and white. So painting the image in Color was the next tough task," Mr Qattan said.

After I completed the painting, I just sent a photo of this to the Indian Embassy officer and they were very much delighted with this, he said. On 30th January, when the Embassy was celebrating Martyers day, Mr Qattan's painting was unveiled in presence of several dignitaries and Kuwaiti artists by the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Sri Sibi George.

"I am very happy that my painting is now displayed at Indian Embassy," said Mr Qattan. "Inshal Alla I wish to visit India very soon," Qattan said. Mr Qattan, who wishes to paint Indira Gandhi as his next painting hopes to visit India soon once the Covid Pandemic is cleared.


Read this article at www.indiansinkuwait.com