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Égypt-actus
Égypt-actus
revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
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"Margo Veillon - Drawing Egypt", edited by Bruno Ronfard

"Margo Veillon - Drawing Egypt", edited by Bruno Ronfard | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt-actus's insight:

More masterpieces from one of Egypt’s best known artists 

Born in 1907, Margo Veillon was one of Egypt’s best-loved artists. Presented here is a sampling of her work spanning seventy-five years of her productive career, in a variety of graphic media—pen and ink, watercolor, pencil, and crayon, as represented in a legacy bequeathed to the American University in Cairo. Although she lived part of her life in Europe, it is clearly Egypt that held her imagination and inspired her artistic innovation. Possessed with an ability to capture the energy of a specific moment in time, Margo Veillon drew people and animals, landscapes and street scenes with her characteristic sly humor and gift for depicting a lively vignette or serene visual moment in just a few strokes. These threads and others no less individual and innovative make up the extraordinarily rich tapestry of Margo Veillon’s artistic career, brought together in the AUC Permanent Collection.

 

The American University in Cairo Press, 2013, 224 p.

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Crotches and thighs aplenty in controversial Eros exhibition

Crotches and thighs aplenty in controversial Eros exhibition | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The human form has fascinated artists since the time of the Greeks. However there is a line between aesthetically pleasing and just plain creepy. El Dessouki Fahmi’s exhibition, Eros, crossed this line.

 

While it is understandable Eros was the Greek god of love and desire, it does not mean that squiggly line drawings of crotches and butts should be considered art. Going through the exhibition artwork, it is hard to feel any kind of connection to the sketches. Most of them are of strange-looking women in repose, with an emphasis on thighs and crotches

 

At a time when women are objectified in every sort of medium, you would think that art would try to correct that. The exhibition’s brochure states: “When Dessouki Fahmi was a small child, he used to spend his leisure time contemplating young peasants’ bodies, enjoying seeing their curves under the setting sun’s rays.” We fail to understand the intended effect of this paragraph, but if it attempts to imply that Fahmi was a Peeping Tom, then it has succeeded.

 

Even senior citizens did not escape the attack of the squiggly crotch.

 

The brochure mentions Botticelli, Mahmoud Mokhtar, Renoir, and Modigliani. Although Fahmi’s sketches are somewhat similar in their use of perspective to Modigliani’s nude paintings, they do not conjure the same feelings in the viewer.

 

While we are all for exploring human senses, Fahmi’s sketches do not do that. If he really wanted to differentiate between the sensual and the sexual, then in our humble opinion, he failed. We felt his sketches only managed to condense the whole idea of womanhood in female genitalia, with a side of conical boobs.

 

More on: http://www.albawaba.com/entertainment/egypt-eros-art-474074

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Daughter of the Nile - An Egyptian art exhibition in Malta

Daughter of the Nile - An Egyptian art exhibition in Malta | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The art exhibition – ‘Daughter of the Nile’ by the young and upcoming artist Bernice Buhagiar, brings alive tales of a land of mystery and magic - Egypt.  A land different from all others, difficult to understand, apart and alien, yet strangely fascinating.

 

As the name of the exhibition suggests, Egypt was considered to be the gift of the Nile, full of life and charm. Like a child depending on its mother, Egypt depended on the annual Inundation- the rising of the Nile. Should this fail, Egypt faced starvation. Therefore, with death always so near, the Ancient Egyptians developed an obsession about the Land of the Dead and death itself.

 

From the Pharaohs and the ornate Pyramids in which they were buried, the enchanting Nile, Isis- mistress of the gods, to Hathor- Lady of Love, Bernice brings alive the alluring Egyptian mythology. Her artwork is an expressive, colourful, imaginative and vibrant trip through which one encounters the gods and goddesses worshipped in Ancient Egypt, reliving the dazzling tales which were handed down and hardly ever changed.

 

Dates: From Friday 15 March till end of April 2013

 

More on: http://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2013-02-18/arts-and-culture/daughter-of-the-nile-an-art-exhibition-by-bernice-buhagiar-906330112/

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Khaled Hafez brings Egyptian identity to art-crazed Dubai

Khaled Hafez brings Egyptian identity to art-crazed Dubai | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

In his first solo show in the art-crazed Dubai, prominent contemporary artist Khaled Hafez exhibits a series of paintings and drawings drenched in symbols and iconography that attempt to unravel the complex, multi-layered Egyptian identity.

While Hafez’s artwork since the revolution has responded to the socio-political transformation resulting from 25 January Revolution, Moving Forward by the Day, which opens 17 March at Dubai’s Meem Gallery is less political and more cultural; this new body of work aims to depict the diversity of the Egyptian character.

Khaled Hafez explains it as follows, “What I am fighting against…what I am resisting…in my work is a public discourse that seeks to unify and impose a single truth, or ideology upon the rich and diverse reality of Egyptian identity.”

An enduring characteristic of Hafez’s work is contrast; his collages juxtapose symbols of contemporary culture, such as models cut out from fashion magazines, with ancient Egyptian iconography, for example.

The appearance of a multitude of symbols and icons that reflect the underlying themes the artist toys around with; such as the collision of civilisations and generations, assembled as busy collages bathing in paint and alternative materials, renders Hafez’s work constantly vibrant and dynamic.

More on: http://www.albawaba.com/entertainment/khaled-hafez-475199

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Art behind bars: Egypt's jailed culture ministry official exhibits 'prison paintings'

Art behind bars: Egypt's jailed culture ministry official exhibits 'prison paintings' | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Former culture ministry official Mohsen Shaalan exhibits his artwork – completed during his recent one-year stint in prison – at Cairo's Gezira Art Centre until 28 February.

 

Charged with negligence and professional delinquency and imprisoned for a year after Van Gogh’s $55 million "Poppy Flowers" was stolen from the Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum, former Deputy Minister of Culture and enduring artist Mohsen Shaalan, 62, rendered prison as his personal studio.

 

An exhibition entitled 'Black Cat: A Prison Experience' that opened 16 February at the Gezira Art Centre showcases the artwork Shaalan created behind bars. Prowling through the collection of large scale oil paintings and ink drawings is a black cat, a symbol for the feeling of injustice experienced by the artist.

Deputy Minister of Culture Mohsen Shaalan was the main defendant in the last major public opinion case, the theft of Dutch post-Impressionist genius, Vincent Van Gogh’s multi-million dollar painting. The artwork had been displayed in the Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Dokki, home to one of the most significant collections of 19th and 20th century European art in the Middle East, including works by Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. (...)

 

Mohsen Shaalan, who had been working for the ministry of culture since 1989, does not deny the lax security and wretched condition of the the museum. In an investigation carried out by the attorney general following the robbery, it was uncovered that out of the 43 cameras at the Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum, only seven were functional (...)

 

Art and freedom

The only fragment of freedom he could hold on to was art. After resistance and a brief refusal to get accustomed to life in prison, Shaalan adapted to his reality, and in any ways capitalised on it. His son, Ahmed, brought him art supplies in prison, serving as a trigger for an unexpected artistic endeavour that Shaalan exhibits in February.(...)

 

Programme:
'Black Cat: A Prison Experience' runs until 28 February
Gezira Art Centre, 1 Al-Sheikh Al-Marsafi Street, Zamalek, Cairo

 

More on: http://www.albawaba.com/entertainment/mohsen-shaalan-prison-art-472074



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Artists in Egypt work in a tense atmosphere

Artists in Egypt work in a tense atmosphere | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis give artists cause for concern. Their work reflects the country's uneasy mood and conflicts.

The Muslim women in Marwa Adel's photographs are shadows, repressed by custom, religion, marriage and regret. While nude, the figures are obscured by sepia scrims, scrawled upon with stifling words — as if their true selves may never be known.

Like their creator, a single mother edging at the bounds of artistic freedom in a patriarchal society, the images are at once vulnerable and defiant. A man from the Muslim Brotherhood, the nation's dominant political force, which is infusing Islam into a once-secular government, scolded her at a recent exhibition.

"He had a long beard and he stood up and told me, 'How could you do something like this? You are a Muslim.' He said women should be veiled and covered. His kind wants us to cover our minds, our issues. I told him, 'Don't worry about me. I know my God very well.'"

She touches a computer screen. A woman, face in hands, surrounded by cages, seeps to life. She touches the screen again. And again. (...)

"The ultraconservatives say I'm an atheist," she said, adding with a piercing dig at the opposite sex, "but if you argue with a man, you argue with God."

The political rise of the Brotherhood and more extremist Salafis scares Egyptian artists, writers, satirists and journalists. Brotherhood leaders engulfed by political unrest and economic turmoil have not, at least at this point, shifted significant attention toward galleries and museums.

 

The ArtTalks gallery in Cairo's Zamalek neighborhood is prone to works that touch upon the revolution: Wailing mothers holding the hearts of fallen sons; an imam and a priest, sitting side by side with pensive expressions; a family portrait as if painted from the 1940s — before a stricter Islam was imported from the Persian Gulf — with unveiled women and men in western suits. One of the most striking paintings is a half-male, half-female nude, kneeling, the face covered by a veil, the body part of a cross. The image crystallizes the crises of religion, civil rights and identity radiating through the Middle East.

 

More on: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-egypt-brotherhood-artists-20130210,0,6593632.story

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