Browsing 'art' News

Ahmed Bin Majed

Ahmed’s drawing

The Qatari artist behind the viral image of the Emir that has been plastered on cars, walls and t-shirts across the country said he is “grateful” his work is so popular.

“It’s my duty, the least I can do, as a Qatari creative artist to show my support and stand by the Emir,” Ahmed Almaadheed told Doha News, referencing the pressure the country’s leader has been under since the GCC crisis began.

Almaadheed revealed that the drawing had actually started out as car art for Qatar National Day 2016.

“Then, at the beginning of the Qatar crisis I recreated it on a canvas to translate my feelings about the current situation in Qatar,” he said.

‘Viral’ image

Almaadheed’s new drawing of the Emir has “Glorious Tamim” written in Arabic beneath it, and is now a popular way to express support for the Emir during these turbulent times.

Aware of this, Almaadheed has made his artwork freely available via his Instagram account, which has almost 50,000 followers.

Bosco Menezes (Big B Photography)

Ramadan Car Parade 2017

He told Doha News that he noticed soon after the crisis began that the portrait was spreading widely on social media.

“Many people had also printed the portrait on stickers which were being distributed all over Qatar,” he added. “This was all done by these people themselves, without any planned campaign.”

The image can now be seen on car stickers across Qatar, as well as on posters, video billboards and t-shirts.

Last week, Qatar’s national football team sported the art on their warmup jerseys to express their solidarity before a match.

They now face possible action from FIFA for the action.

This is because FIFA rules, “political, religious or commercial messages” are banned from being displayed on the pitch.

New stamps

Meanwhile, QPost has produced a patriotic set of new stamps entitled “Tamim Al Majd” (Tamim is glory).

“This initiative has been taken under (the) current political situation being faced by Qatar,” Q-Post Chairman Faleh Al Naemi told Peninsula.


New QPost stamps

He added that the stamps had been issued “to express solidarity and unity with the people, leadership, country and government’s decisions in current situation.”

Self-taught artist

Almaadheed owns Notion Media, a Qatari company that has produced designs for groups including Qatar Foundation, the economy ministry’s Consumer Protection Department and the Asian Cup.

Ahmed Bin Majed

Almaadheed alongside a video screen displaying his picture

He told Doha News that he had been drawing since he was a child, and that he was entirely self-taught.

You can follow Almaadheed on Instagram and Snapchat, or email him [email protected]

Stickers of Sheikh Tamim can be found at most auto repair shops, ordered online or picked up for free from bookstores or the Corniche during the daily Ramadan car parade.


Bradley Weber/Flickr

The Manhattan skyline

A Qatari man hoping to promote cross-cultural understanding and debunk myths about Muslims is launching a new Islamic art museum in downtown New York next month.

Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Al-Thani told Doha News that he hopes the Institute of Arab and Islamic Art (IAIA) will “challenge stereotypes and grant artist, curators and writers from the region an opportunity to engage with a broader audience.”

The institute will present three to four temporary exhibitions a year.


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

They will feature artists from the Arab and Islamic world, with the aim of “enabling them to join a broader global conversation,” the IAIA’s website states.

Its first exhibition will go live on May 3 and involve Islamic architecture and geometry, Al Thani told Doha News.

“Though there are foundations in the US that engage in Arab and Islamic Art, the narratives presented and the exhibitions curated by these foundations are not quite reflective of our societies and cultures,” he added.


A graduate of Georgetown University in Qatar’s School of Foreign Service, Al Thani has worked for the UN and Qatar Foundation.

He is currently writing a dissertation on Cezane and the advent of Fauvism and Cubism.

Cezane’s Card Players, reportedly bought by Qatar for record-breaking $250 million.

The IAIA is a non-profit organization funded by several donors from around the world, but does not have ties to governments, Al Thani said.

Qataris and Emiratis, including Mohammed Al Rabban, Sheikh Nasser Al-Thani, Sheikh Rashid Al-Thani, Safiya Al-Ghaith and Sheikha Sharifa Al-Qubaisi, are listed on the museum’s website as its founding benefactors.


In addition to exhibitions, the institute also plans to launch a residency program. This will be for artists, critics and curators who are interested in engaging with a New York audience.

Residents will be provided housing and workspace, as well as learn about different artistic movements that originated in New York. They will also present work and projects at the IAIA.

Navin Sam / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Another goal of the institute is to increase knowledge of Islamic civilization and history.

It plans to do this by engaging writers and scholars in translations and publications, the museum’s website states.

Finally, the IAIA is planning to host an outreach program with schools and universities through collaborations with Arab cultural center across the US, Al Thani said.


All photos courtesy of Qatar Museums

More than 120 works by renowned 20th Century artists Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti will be shown in Qatar for the first time next year.

The free exhibition runs from Feb. 23 to May 21, 2017 at the Doha Fire Station. It will be the first time that pieces by these artists will be exhibited in the Middle East, Qatar Museums said.

The collection includes paintings, sculptures, sketches and photographs, as well as interviews with the artists.

Fire Station

Chantelle D'mello

Fire Station

They will all be on display in the exhibition space of the converted old Civil Defense building on Wadi Al Sail.

The exhibition will include some major works by both artists spanning decades of their careers, such as Picasso’s Self Portrait (1901), Woman Throwing a Stone (1931) and The She Goat (1950).

Meanwhile, key pieces by Giacometti include Flower in Danger (1932), Tall Woman (1960) and Walking Man (1960).

In addition to the original works, there will also be some rare and fragile casts, newly-discovered drawings and photographic archives.

Finally, the exhibition will include some replicas of Giacometti’s works for visually impaired visitors to touch, QM said in a statement yesterday.

Qatar exhibition

The exhibition follows on the heels of a bigger version of the Picasso-Giacometti show, which is currently open to the public at the Musée National Picasso in Paris.

That display contains around 200 works across eight sections and runs until Feb. 5 next year, closing just two weeks before the Doha exhibition opens.

The pieces on display in Qatar are on loan mostly from the Musée National Picasso and the Fondation Giacometti, which are both based in Paris. There will also be other works borrowed from collections internationally.

Pablo Picasso's The Bathers


Pablo Picasso\’s The Bathers

The collection will be divided into six sections. Each will cover different aspects of each artist’s work – from their early pieces as young artists to more modern ones.

It will chart “the correspondences between their works, the influence of the surrealist movement, and the return to realism during the post-war period,” QM said.

Previously, experts at the two Paris galleries spent two years researching the links between the artists.

They found documents, notebooks and sketches showing that, despite a 20-year age difference, they shared personal moments with each other.

These ranged from their first meeting in the early 1930s until after the second World War.

Catherine Grenier, director of the Fondation Giacometti, curated the Doha exhibition along with associate curators Serena Bucalo-Mussely, also from the Fondation Giacometti, and Virginie Perdrisot from the Musee National Picasso-Paris.

Artists’ hub

This is the biggest exhibition to be hosted by the Fire Station since it opened in 2015 as a gallery. It also contains a café and studio space for emerging artists.

Previous exhibitions include work from those taking part in its Artists’ in Residence program, which is now in its second year.

Installation of the artwork at the Fire Station

Qatar Museums/Twitter

Installation of artwork at the Fire Station

Although the items on display in this exhibition will all be international loans, Qatar is rumored to have bought some of its own Picasso works.

In 2013, Picasso’s Child With Dove painting sold in London for $74.5 million and left the UK after 85 years there – reportedly to travel to Qatar.

Who’s planning on going to the exhibition? Thoughts?