Saudi artist creates portraits out of pennies

Hisham Abdu Rabbah Al-Najjar standing by his portraits at the heritage festival in Balad. (Photo courtesy Saudi Gazette)

A Saudi artist has created 12 portraits of Saudi kings and princes by using 45,000 international coins.

Hisham Abdu Rabbah Al-Najjar spent years collecting coins as his favorite hobby.

It then took another direction for the young Saudi collector when he assembled all the pennies he had collected into portraits of prominent figures.

While displaying his penny portraits in Balad as part of the ongoing heritage festival “Ramdanana Kida” (Our Ramadan Was Like This), Al-Najjar said, “Collecting coins has been my favorite hobby for a long time because coins are really quite fascinating and as I got older, I had quite a massive supply of Saudi and foreign coins.”

He continued: “I then thought of artistic portraits of our kings. I started with drawing their pictures and then filled them with coins.”

The instantly recognizable image of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz required an astounding number of 9,000 coins in its composition.

"It took a larger number of coins than the other portraits and it took me three months to finish,” Al-Najjar said.

The Saudi artist has also created mosaic works of King Abdulaziz, King Saudi, King Khalid, King Fahd, King Abdullah, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, deputy prime minister and the minister of interior, and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and other members of the royal family.

Al-Najjar, who proved that he can make money out of art, has announced that after Ramadan he will start working on the biggest penny portrait of the Two Holy Mosques with 50,000 coins with the hope that he would find entry in the Guinness World Records.

This article was first published on July 6 2014 in the Saudi Gazette.


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45