A Saudi artist and graphic designer has received several tempting offers for her hand-painted car, which was the first Arab automobile to be exhibited at a prestigious vehicle exhibition in France.
Shalimar Sharbatly was offered one million euros for her hand-painted Porsche — which was viewed by nearly 13 million people at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris — an offer she says she does not intend to refuse.
The car, which was painted by Sharbatly herself, is the first ever painted car to be displayed at the event in all its years.
Sharbatly, an artist, said social engagements forced her to delay painting her car until this year.
“As the Mondial approached,” she said, “I decided to start this project, but was unable to use oil paints due to climatic conditions that cause the paint to come off of the car’s exterior.”
“My brother Majed, who has a car dealership in Jeddah, gave me the Porsche, as well as special paints used on vehicles.”
She said she was not familiar with using that type of paint at first, but spent two months training at home in Jeddah before she began working on the car.
“The problem with that type of paint was that the colors dry every five seconds, so I had to work fast.”
“After I completed the project, I contacted the World Cup committee, who responded quickly, welcoming and approving the inclusion of the car in the World Cup,” she said.
Sharbatly was even offered to have the vehicle cast in upcoming movies.
Sharbatly plans to begin work on a second vehicle, but is first setting up a special laboratory in Jeddah that contains protective equipment from the health hazards of car paint.
As the first Saudi artist to use car paint in her work, she called on all artists to work toward realizing their dreams.
Sharbatly, who was born in 1971, first began drawing at the age of three. She went on to obtain a bachelors degree in psychology at King Abdulaziz University and then completed her master’s degree in forensics in Beirut.
Sharbatly was the first Saudi woman tasked with producing wall art along major roads in Jeddah, which still remain until today along Prince Faisal bin Fahad road in Jeddah and the Corniche.
Her first gallery exhibition took place in Cairo in 1986, attracting a large number of famous writers and artists, and has since set up numerous exhibitions worldwide. She has also received numerous awards in for her work, including the Henry Matees prize, for her work in competitions.
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