Gailani will be part of the 50 artists invited from 22 different countries to paint at UNESCO heritage sites in Greece. The painting symposium will culminate with the Fourth International Athena Art Festival where the works created will also be exhibited.
Gailani said, “I was simply thrilled at the opportunity to paint in such a historic city and to be part of a UNESCO initiative and interact with artists from diverse countries such as Mexico and Ukraine”. Gailani, who is a founder of the successful Gailani Art Retreats, is intrigued to see what happens when the tables are turned and he has to create as a participant instead of being an organiser.
He added, “I am usually in the moderator role in my own art retreat and always feel that I’m missing out on the act of painting itself. Most of my art retreat participants would vouch for the fact that I actually find every excuse to grab a brush from their hand and start working on their paintings. I am glad that I get a chance to enjoy the experience by immersing myself completely onto the canvas without worrying about the logistics of being an organiser.”
Greek mythology has always fascinated Gailani who’s painting of the Greek God Zeus is displayed at the Maserati Showroom in Muscat. Known for his bold pop-art inspired portraits with shimmering gold, bronze and reds as his favourite colour palette, he intends to continue the Greek mythology theme in this forum and paint ‘Athena - The Goddess of War & Wisdom’ who ironically is the motherless daughter of Zeus and on whom the city is named after.
It was his painting of Zeus that caught the organisers’ eye on social media and they contacted Gailani to be a part of this symposium and art festival. Gailani said, “Its really amazing how social media is helping artists expand their reach; this is the third international event in a span of six months that has contacted me to participate simply through social media, so the message to artists struggling to get their work out there is to keep producing and posting your work, because the world is shrinking and sooner or later they too will get noticed.” Zervas Art & UNESCO aim to hold these painting symposiums at other heritage sites, with the next two scheduled for Prague and Moscow. He added, “It is the coming together of the artist community at historic venues to feed off each other’s creativity.”