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Kuwait Times editor showcases artistic talents through mural

By Faten Omar

Shakir Reshamwala, Front Page Editor at Kuwait Times, tried his hand painting a mural “exploding” with colors and hidden meaning. Reshamwala used a wall of Kuwait Times’ disused printing press to paint his mural, taking advantage of his writing skills to play with words and transfer spoken language into a work of art. “Due to the nature of my work, being a writer, journalist and professional Scrabble player, wordplay is my forte. My mural titled ‘ANARkey’ of keys blasting out of an exploding pomegranate symbolizes anarchy and chaos, as ‘anar’ means pomegranate in many languages,” he explained.

Reshamwala has been drawing and painting since he was a child. “My family would praise me as a child for my drawing skills. It has been always a hobby, and I never thought of it as a profession. In college, I used to paint posters with typography, a technique of arranging words to make written language appealing when displayed,” he said.

“I won a couple of art competitions during my childhood, but it remained as a hobby and never developed into a career idea. Even though I have a degree in finance, I was always into writing and words, and was the editor of my college’s book club magazine, which eventually led me to copywriting and journalism,” Reshamwala added.

Seeing murals by other graffiti artists at the old printing press made Reshamwala consider participating and sharing his talent with Kuwait Times. “I was interested when Kuwait Times announced opening the old printing press to artists to express their art on our walls. Then one day, Abdullah Boftain, Kuwait Times Deputy Editor-in-Chief, was showing me around, and at the spur of the moment I asked him if I could also make a mural, and he said ‘yes’. That encouraged me to be part of the art on the walls,” he said.

Art and writing aren’t the only things Reshamwala is passionate about – handicrafts and using tools allowed him to see the different artistic angles of his painting. “While I was painting, I thought why not make the keys 3D to give them a different dimension. Due to my passion for tools, I drew outlines of the keys on sheets of plywood and cut them out with a jigsaw,” he explained.

Regarding the material used in the artwork, Reshamwala pointed out this was his first time painting on a wall, so he prepared by watching tutorials online to hone his skills. “I used acrylic colors on the wall, with spray paint for highlighting. The keys too were spray painted after getting a lick of acrylic. I worked on the mural over three weekends. It was hard to translate a small canvas painting to the wall, so I made gridlines to scale up my artwork.”

In ‘ANARkey’, Reshamwala has painted a distinctive, lively, deep, vibrant and vivid piece of art. The artwork blends colors to present a nice kind of chaos, with detailed and bold brushwork.

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