Former Qatari football player’s paintings on display at Katara
LANI ROSE R DIZON
DOHA THE first solo painting exhibition of a former Qatari football player Ibrahim Khalfan opened at the Katara Gallery Building 19 on Tuesday.
About 30 paintings depicting the traditional as well as modern- day Qatar entitled ‘My Country Smell’ are on display at the gallery.
The artworks are priced between QR6,000 and QR15,000.
For Ibrahim Khalfan, who played for the Qatar National team during the 1970’s, football and painting come together.
A true sportsman, Khalfan played for the Al Arabi Club and the Qatar national football team from 1972 to 1989. But his love for painting manifested itself in his childhood.
To open his exhibition on the first Qatar national Sports Day was a dream come true for Khalfan .
Talking to Qatar Tribune, Khalfan said, “I was keen on opening my first exhibition during the National Sports Day. To me, arts and sports are very similar. There is art in playing football and painting itself is a wonderful art form.
When I was still a player, football took most of my time. But now that I’ve retired, I have more time to paint”.
Most of Khalfan’s works portray the traditional way of life in Qatar. His paintings remind the visitors of the hardships faced by the people who ventured out to the open seas and toiled in the scorching heat of summer in the olden days to make a living. Some of the paintings also depict the modern- day Qatar with impressive display of Doha’s towering skyline and the city’s multicultural features.
But one of the most popular paintings admired by the visitors at the exhibit is Khalfan’s oil painting of his 23-year-old son Khalfan Ibrahim Khalfan al Khalfan. The painting shows the younger Khalfan enthusiastically playing the sport which he and his father love.
The younger Khalfan is currently a member of the Qatar national football team and a mid-fielder for the Al Sadd Club. He was also named ‘Asian Player of the Year’ during the 20006 Doha Asian Games, the first Qatari to win the title.
Speaking about his father’s exhibit, he said, “My father is the one who has been encouraging me to become a better sportsman. I’m very happy that he appreciates all the achievements I’ve made in the sport and for featuring me in his exhibit. This is first exhibition of his works and I hope that it would be a good start for his artistic career”.
The exhibition is open to the public and will run till February 25.