Are you the go to person in your circle for art advice? You believe you can identify Omar El-Nagdi’s piece two miles away and you can literally recite Gazbia Sirry’s bio in your sleep. You might also be the first to arrive at all the exhibition openings and talk to no end about the up and coming art events you’ve heard about.
We are pretty sure about our chosen artists, but we wanted to dig a bit deeper and bring you the inside scoop. We spoke to rising artists and found out when they first discovered their talent and how they evolved into the artists they are today. To put it mildly, we are in awe of their passion and dedication. Here they are in no particular order:
Let’s start with the lady we have on our list first. Salem discovered her love for art at a very young age, she continued to flirt with the idea until her college years. She actually attended mass communication at Modern Science and Arts university (MSA), at the same time she was studying at the faculty of fine arts at Cairo university. Salem found herself dropping out of fine arts when it all became too much to handle. After she graduated from MSA, she found out that she could not escape her true calling. Salem then decided to take some independent art classes with Magda El-Segggini, and the rest is history. Her style is unique and impossible to mistake for another. Her brave usage of bright rich hues and alternating textures are un-mistakenly hers. There is a very strong feminine influence in her work, one of fragile strength. Although quiet diverse in subjects, she stays true to challenging societal norms and inherited ideas. She has the power to address heavy subjects, without the usual dreadful feeling that comes with that kind of expression. If we can use one word to describe her art, it’s hypnotic. Salem holds her yearly exhibition at Picasso’s art gallery in Zamalek, and it’s usually the place to be in the art sense.
Abdel-Malak is a no outsider to the art world. Son of artist Ibrahim Abdel-Malak and mother whose passion was fashion design. His talent was nurtured early on in his dad’s studio. Abdel-Malak knew he had to follow his, so he enrolled in the faculty of fine arts and successfully graduated in 2003. Like many young artists, he found it difficult to rely financially on his art to live. As a result, he drifted away from it for a few years and it was only three years ago that he made the decision to re-persue his passion and dedicate himself to his art no matter what the sacrifice was. Abdel-Malak’s art is centred around the feminine element of the universe. He believes that women are the soul of creation and source of inspiration for mankind. He credits that to his strong bond with his mother. Abdel-Malak described his mother as his “support system, source of love, kindness and strength.” To stand in-front of one of his paintings is to feel like someone is starring back at you, struggling to jump out and held back by the thin sheet of canvas stretched over the wood. We challenge you not to feel the soul of his subjects flirt with yours. He was chosen by Nestle company to illustrate the poster used to celebrate their 100th year anniversary. He holds his yearly exhibition at Safar Khan gallery.
Karem, different form the previous two artists; is a sculptor not a painter. Karem was not born to an artistic family nor even attended school to study arts. In fact, he discovered his talent by pure chance. At the age of 15, he was offered a job at the great Anas El-Aloussy shop for casting and finishing sculptors. This was fate’s way of putting him in the way of his future teachers and sculpture world grants; like Ayman El-Saadawy, Mohamed El-Fayoumi and Ahmed Abdel-Tawab. He started out by pouring out moulds and other casting procedures. He remembers at 17 and only a couple of years ago that he created his first piece. Although mentored by great artists, yet his work is free of influence. His lines lend themselves to fluidity, overall shapes and subjects to sensuality with pieces like “lovers,” “the kiss,” and “addoration,” we challenge you not to be smitten. Karem’s pieces usually disappear before his exhibition doors even open. He will be holding this year’s exhibition at Al-Khalila gallery.
Fayoumi who’ve just won the collectors award in the youth salon, is another example of how great artists are part nature, part nurture. His father is the great sculptor Mohamed El-Fayoumi, his grandfather a photographer and his uncle is an illustrative artist. Fayoumi is no stranger to the wondrous world of creativity. His talent was nurtured early as he sat next to his dad imitating his moves and trying to create his own little pieces. He remembers being six years old and trying to mould play dough into something that looked like his dad’s pieces. Bit by bit, he started to take his talent seriously and started developing his own style. It was only a couple of years ago that he created his first piece. Fayoumi’s style lends itself to surrealistic proportions which is very noticeable in his figures. He is definitely not scared to tip the scale anyway he wishes. He is also known as the master finisher among his fellow artists. “Finishing” a sculpture refers to the process it takes to transfer the rough bronze piece into final desired surface texture, such process requires extreme sensibility and talent in dealing with metal, and Fayoumi has mastered that. Fayoumi is also holding his exhibition later at Al-Khalila gallery, we hear it’s almost sold out already!