Dubai: A portrait on an almond, all the way from India—that is the special gift a teen made for His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai on his 70th birthday.
Aman Singh Gulati, an 18-year-old artist who has set many records in paintings and shot to fame with his specialty in almond portraits, claims it is the first ever portrait of Shaikh Mohammad made on a single almond measuring less than one inch.
Speaking to Gulf News over the phone from the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Gulati said he made the unique portrait of Shaikh Mohammad as a tribute to the leader for his support to the Sikh community to which he belongs.
The teen said he heard a lot about how Shaikh Mohammad supported the Sikh community in the UAE when he attended an award function in Kenya last year. It was Shaikh Mohammad who gifted the land where the community set up their place of worship, Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara in Dubai.
“I had gone to Kenya to receive the Sikh Awards’ People’s Choice Award for my contribution to the field of art,” said Gulati.
“I heard a lot about Shaikh Mohammad from the organisers. They also gifted me his biography. After reading that, I became a big fan of him.”
Gulati said he searched more about Shaikh Mohammad online and started following Gulf News website as well. “I learned about Shaikh Mohammad’s birthday through a report on the site last night [Sunday]. Then I decided to make this almond portrait for him.”
How did he do it?
He said it took six hours to complete the art work in the medium of almond, which he has made his forte after a thorough research.
“I wanted to be unique in my creativity. I researched a lot about almond painting and coal painting.”
He said he uses horse hair as the brush as it is very thin and strong for painting on almond. “I mix kerosene oil with acrylic or fabric paint to ward off insects from damaging the almonds.”
He said he had never been to the UAE.
“I don’t have any relatives living over there. But I wish to visit Dubai one day. It will be a big achievement if I can present this portrait to His Highness. I also have plans to make similar art work of all the iconic buildings in Dubai on almonds.”
Gulati, who just finished grade 12 from a Delhi school, is set to join a Bachelors’ course in Fine Arts. The teen, who got his initial lessons in painting from his homemaker-cum-artist mother, also holds free painting classes for underprivileged children.