Graffiti artist Michael Conjusta is creating murals outside Qatar 2022 stadiums
Graffiti artist Michael Conjusta is impressing football fans from across the globe with his eye-catching murals.
The 44-year-old Filipino, a long-term Qatar resident, has been creating artwork as part of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s (SC) Cultural Activation Programme, which is hosting talent during the FIFA World Cup™ to complement the festive atmosphere in the country.
Conjusta has been creating colourful murals at Al Bayt, Lusail, Al Janoub and Al Thumama stadiums and the Doha Corniche. He says he is honoured to be part of the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world.
We caught up with Conjusta to find out more about his creations and his World Cup experience so far.
Tell us about yourself.
I am originally from the Philippines, but I’ve been living in Qatar since 1998. I’m a painter, interior decorator and face and body painter. Before I moved to Qatar as an interior decorator, I was still studying architecture. I decided to make the move for a better living opportunity. I also had dreams of becoming a doctor one day, but here I am!
How and when did you start performing as a professional artist?
I first started drawing when I was eight years old. I really enjoyed it from the start. I’m still progressing as a professional graffiti artist as I’m still exploring different techniques and learning about this art form.
Describe your art and the passion behind it.
What I create is a mix of graffiti and murals. Graffiti is more about spontaneous writing, lettering, sketching and scribbles, while murals are usually larger and more intentional drawings that could vary in complexity.
I find this type of art to be challenging because I have to apply what is on my mind and make it instantly work on the surface. During my live art performances, I am conscious of the fans and competing teams, so I like to include elements from the matches or the tournament, like La’eeb. I like to think that I’m a positive person and aim to reflect that in my work, give my best and enjoy the end result with fans.
How has your World Cup experience been so far?
I am really enjoying contributing to the art and culture celebrations, especially when people praise my work and ask for a selfie. I feel like a superstar! I am always eager to meet new people and make new friends.
What has been your favourite part of the tournament so far?
My favourite part is after every game when fans of the winning team leave the game cheering, especially in the metro. It feels like a fiesta.
How do you feel about performing at the first FIFA World Cup in the region?
Really happy. After living in Qatar for the past 24 years, I consider this country to be my second home and I feel proud of what they have been able to achieve. I believe that it’s my chance to show gratitude to Qatar for welcoming me and hosting me all these years.
How do you feel about being a part of World Cup entertainment?
It feels amazing! Everyone is proud of me, especially my family and friends back home in the Philippines. Seeing fans pose and take photos with my artwork has also made me feel very special. It really means a lot. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to showcase my talent to everyone visiting from around the world. It’s amazing exposure for me as an artist.
Which team are you supporting?
My all-time favourites, Argentina!