Times of Oman
OmanPride: Oman-based artist Gailani goes to Hollywood
September 17, 2017 | 7:05 PM
by Salim Al Afifi
The artist is encouraging local talent to chase their dreams.
 
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One of Oman’s most talented and successful artists, Gailani, has had a journey full of adventures and opportunities, especially during his latest visit to the United States, where he held a series of exhibitions, putting Oman’s name on the global map of artists. The artist’s journey to the United States started a year back when one of his paintings was selected for the Coffee Art Festival in New York City, which was a portrait made from crushed coffee dipped in gold.

Organisers spotted his unique and exotic pop art-driven paintings on social media and sent out invitations in the hope to curate his art. On August 10, he participated in a trunk-show-inspired exhibition in downtown Los Angeles, where he exhibited his finest work for gallery owners and artists from diverse art markets. Ten days later, he held another exhibition in one of the most exciting places in the world — Hollywood — where he exhibited his work at the globally known exhibition of Raw.

The exhibition works as a platform for natural born artists, who carry individuality and a non-stop flow of creative juice, and most importantly are not represented by industry agencies. “I was very honoured because Raw Art is a large organisation that exhibits in America, Australia, and the United Kingdom,” said the artist. Raw showcases art in a variety of genres, including musicians, fashion designers, jewellery makers, painters, photographers, performance artists, and dancers. “It was a celebration of art and all its genres, and it was phenomenal,” he added.

Gailani was given the main stage to showcase five large paintings, including a pop-art painting of refugees (which is an acclaimed work of art), as well as his painting of the beautiful Frida Kahlo, which is now being exhibited at the 17th annual Frida Kahlo exhibition in Long Beach, California.



The artist is encouraging local talent to chase their dreams and knock on every door fighting for their craft after he realised the great importance of believing in oneself. Regardless of obstacles that stand in the way of emerging artists in Oman, they should continue to hone their skills and work hard to get into the market as professional artists.

Gailani himself has faced challenges from people telling him that he won’t make it, but he decided to continue chasing his dreams. He started his commercial art journey five years ago. He got acclaim in Oman, followed by the Gulf, and now the United States. He also wrote a book on how to heal through art.

“All these achievements are set to encourage emerging artists to never give up on their dreams. You only get one life, so one has to live it to its full potential,” he said, adding that “I don’t want to look back in life and think that I had this opportunity and I was not able to explore it”.

The artist also faced challenges, such as lack of sponsorship for his art when it came to logistics and he had to pay for his exhibition. He urges emerging artists to look at the whole situation as a golden opportunity that could, and most probably will, change a life.

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