Tag Archives: Picasso

Mohamed Dalo: the crippled anime artist

It could be luck or just pure circumstance why a 21-year-old Palestinian was able to open an art exhibition in Gaza.

“You draw whatever your imagination leads you to without adhering to any specific shaping or the general appearance of the drawing. I only have my A4 drawing pad and pencils that enable me to live out my dream,” Mohamed Dalo was quoted saying in a report. He has muscular dystrophy.

Muscular dystrophy is a nutritional deficiency disease. It commonly occurs in boys during childhood and could result in an inability to walk or difficulty in breathing or swallowing. Only medications and therapy can “cure” muscular dystrophy by managing its symptoms and slowing its course.

But Mohamed Dalo was still able to “mix with people of various abilities.” “Since I was a toddler, art was a hobby that grew into a passion which knew no boundaries,” Mohamed had added.

A “daily life is a struggle for survival and progression,” however. Before Mohamed had the chance to complete his baccalaureate exams, his health and condition deteriorated to the extent that he could no longer endure a “long and tiring school day.” He left school and solely embark on a journey toward his dream.

Alone, Mohamed got inspired by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Frida Kahlo, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Al Capp, Picasso, Da Vinci, and Japanese anime artists Naoki Tate and Masashi Kishimoto. He eventually got more fascinated with anime—a style of animation developed in Japan—because, unlike other forms of art, Mohamed found anime to be without boundaries.

Gradually, Mohamed began showing his work to others; initially on social media then to friends and family. During an art exhibition at two local events in Gaza, including the “Renewing Contribution” festival at Gaza College, Mohamed’s works were displayed.

Soon afterwards, Mohamed attracted media attention. Palestinian, Iraqi and Jordanian newspapers and TV channels all vied to interview him. The only struggle he had left is not his physical disability but his living in Gaza.

“Living in Gaza is a real challenge for any individual but if you are disabled then it is an entirely different matter; the siege which limits the everyday life of every Palestinian in the Strip, also means those with disabilities are unable to get access to, or learn about, opportunities and facilities that are available for people with special needs.”

Mohamed remains hopeful, though: “I want to leave a mark in the world of art, travel and see what is out there in terms of art, especially anime, open my own exhibition where people from all over the globe can come and view my work and improve my skills through interacting and meeting artists and academics who may help me nurture this talent through further studies.”

Mohamed had his first solo exhibition in Gaza last year entitled “Anime is my Life” at the Arts and Crafts Village.

“Don’t hide or suppress your talent. Nothing is impossible. Be proud of who you are and what you contribute to society. People with disability have a vital role to play in shaping the world and influencing the attitude and perception others have of disability.” ~Mohamed Dalo

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José Feliciano: the blind guitarist

As important as his recognition for being the first Latin artist to cross over into the English music market is José Feliciano’s inability to see.

José Montserrate Feliciano García, his full name, was born blind. Despite of this, he was able to play the concertina when he turned six. He was also able to perform at The Puerto Rican Theater in the Bronx when he was just nine and he was around 17 when a music critic from the New York Times saw him play at a coffee house in Gerde’s Folk City. He was described as a “10-fingered wizard who romps, runs, rolls, picks and reverberates his six strings in an incomparable fashion” then.

By the time he was 23, José Feliciano already earned five Grammy nominations, won two Grammy Awards, performed over much of the world, and recorded songs in four languages. Three of these celebrated songs are “Light My Fire,” “Che Sara,” and “Feliz Navidad.” He eventually became known the world over as “the greatest living guitarist”.

José Feliciano has been also referred to as “the Picasso of his Realm.” He has been recognized as the “Best Pop Guitarist” in the Guitar Player Magazine and has been voted the “Best Jazz and Best Rock Guitarist” in the Playboy Magazine. The Billboard Magazine has selected him to receive a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

The New York City has renamed the Public School 155 in East Harlem to be “The Jose Feliciano Performing Arts School” in his honor. The Catholic Church has knighted him at the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and the Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut has accorded him a Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his musical and humanitarian contributions to the world.

Today, José Feliciano is also known for being the “Ambassador of Good Will” throughout the world. Apart from performing with the London Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, among others, he also often supports charities “that he believes are important.”

“I used to be a dreamer in school. I never, in all my wildest days, would ever think I’d become kind of a Latin idol to the women in Latin countries or a hero to young kids. I never thought of that. My main interest really was playing music. I was always fascinated by the sound I could get out of things. I’m just, a very lucky person, that God gave me the chance to do what I’m doing.” ~ José Feliciano

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of ognet