The Mexican embassy in Qatar presented the “Distinguished Mexican Award 2021” to Doha-based Mexican artist and photographer Juan Miguel Ramirez aka ‘Icaro’ recently, citing his contribution to the arts and for strengthening the cultural ties between the two countries.
“In 2018, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs created the medal ‘Mexicanos Distinguidos’ to recognise the outstanding contribution of our diaspora abroad, and today I will have the privilege to invest it on one of the best cultural Ambassadors of Mexico in Qatar, our dear friend, Juan Miguel Ramirez “Icaro”,” Mexican ambassador Graciela Gómez García said at the ceremony, held at the Diplomatic Club.
The envoy, who led the awards and cake-cutting ceremony along with Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Protocol director, ambassador Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhro, noted that Icaro has been living overseas for the past 25 years and spent the last 15 in Qatar.
Garcia said Icaro’s work as an architect (with a Master in Design) and as a photographer has been featured prominently in Qatar and the Gulf; served as “a reference of the artistic scene in Doha; and a proud representative of Mexican talent and creativity”.
“As a founder and leader of Latin American Artists Doha, Icaro has contributed to promote the talent of the region among the Qatari public and has been instrumental in other collaborative platforms with expat artists from all over the world,” she added.
The Mexican artist thanked the Institute of Mexicans Abroad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the award – a recognition “which helps to highlight the important work carried out by various members of our diaspora in Qatar, and that contribute to raise the image and prestige of Mexico in the world”.
Born as Juan Miguel Ramírez Escalante on September 29, 1960 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Icaro developed an interest in photography at age 11 and studied with renowned Mexican photographers Rene Bárcenas and Antonio Berlanga.
Icaro left Mexico in the dawn of the century to search for new horizons, living in various countries such as Spain, France, and Bulgaria before coming to Qatar where he developed an important part of his artistic work for the past 15 years.
In Qatar, Icaro joined the group Ankaboot in 2014 and became a member of the collective “International Artists in Doha” in 2015. In the same year, he became a founding member of the Group of Latin American Artists in Qatar, a collective of relevant Latin American artists residing in the country.
Ícaro has a long career that led him to take part in several solo and group exhibitions in his home country, in Qatar (at Katara – the Cultural Village), and in other countries, including Russia.
The artist is well-known for using watermelon in many of his works as a symbol to express his perception about a certain subject, including Qatar’s history and heritage reflected in museums, buildings and architecture in particular.