Katara recently organised an exhibition ‘Diplomat’s Journey’ by Dr Michalis A Zacharioglou, Ambassador of Cyprus, at Building 18 Gallery 2 Katara. The exhibition will continue till October 28. The 40 artworks on display depict the artistic journey of the career diplomat of 34 years. Featuring elements of various cultures, architecture and picturesque landscapes – the artworks are constructed mostly in bright hues with different techniques employed. The ambassador has well translated his experiences and observations to canvas in detail.
Saif Saeed al-Dosari, Human Resource Manager at Katara, inaugurated the exhibition.
Dr Michalis has studied philosophy, political science and political media from US. From a very young age, he was drawn to arts – theatre, cinema, music and painting. For him, painting started off just as a hobby that later on developed into a passionate love for art.
As an artist, he experiments with light and colours in his own way. He seems to be a semi-practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, especially as applied to landscape painting. However, in his work, one finds elements of modern life and pivotal shapes and figures in transition from realism to impressionism.
Talking Community, Dr Michalis said, “The artwork on display is my work as an artist of about 11 years. It takes quite some time to finish an oil painting. So, in a year you cannot have more than 10 paintings. Further, I am not a full-time artist. I work as a diplomat. Art is just a hobby.
“I called the exhibition ‘Diplomat’s Journey’ as I have been in the world of diplomacy for over 34 years. I have been to many different parts of the world. You will find different cultures and countries depicted in my paintings.”
Speaking about how the idea of having the exhibition started, the Cyprus ambassador said, “When I came to Qatar, many friends visited my office and they saw my artistic work. I had a private collection. Many of my friends kept pushing me to put my artistic work on display. I met Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara, and discussed my idea. We decided to have the exhibition at an appropriate time.
“I was thinking to bring in only 15 to 20 pieces of my work, but Dr Khalid told me to bring all of my collection and promised me a big gallery.”
Explaining the art techniques he has employed in his pieces, Dr Michalis said, “There is a lot of impressionist works. You will also see some of the pieces depicting surrealism and realism. Then there is a naivety in the style of some works, nothing is appropriate. What I do is to play with colours and light.
“In the beginning, I used to play with acrylic colours. Now, I use oil. Oil on canvass gives vivid colours. I enjoy using oil colour techniques.”
The ambassador has regularly been painting for the last 11 years. “I came across arts by chance. I realised that it fulfils me and makes me very happy, especially when I am doing it. The actual amount of time you invest, is really emotionally fulfilling. That is why I always say that arts take away all the negative energy and fills you with positive one. That is what art does to me. It really makes me feel really nice.”
The ambassador has been in Qatar for two and a half years. His works also include Qatar’s landscapes and architectures. “You can see Corniche in two different variations.”
Hans-Udo Muzel, Ambassador of Germany, said, “We are here to support our colleague. He is a great artist. We are really happy to have an artist as an ambassador here. We are lucky as Europeans. There are also some paintings depicting Germany. There are some paintings that reflect the mood of Qatar, all the seasons and Souq Waqif.”
Dr Bart De Groof, Ambassador of Belgium, said, “We are hear as European ambassadors to support our artist colleague. We have been looking at his paintings and admiring them for quite some time now. He has used very powerful and vivid colours and colour patches. At the same time, he has quite some variety in his style. Some of his works are landscapes, seascapes, and many paintings are about Qatar, He also draws a reference to European painting styles.”
Barnabas Fodor, Ambassador of Hungary, said, “I am very happy to see the exhibition by our colleague. To be honest, I can see there are vibrant colours. He has a very special way of looking at the world. I also like the tranquility on these paintings. There is great calm and happiness coming from the paintings as I can see that.”
Jose Benzaquen, Ambassador of Peru, said, “The amazing artwork is a surprise for me. I am a friend of Dr Michalis. I am happy to see his artistic works. My wife and I are enjoying the artistic creations. It is important because the exhibition is part of his life and his stay in Qatar.”
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