A matter of perception: Cairo’s Easel and Camera gallery organises exhibitions in two locations

Nevine Lamei,Saturday 27 Aug 2022

Twelve Egyptian artists exhibited their works focusing on the process of perception in the You See Me, You See Me Not, a show organised by the Easel and Camera gallery.

Cairo s Easel and Camera gallery


The exhibition took place in two venues: the Golf Club of Dream Land (6 October city) and in the Red Sea resort city of El-Gouna. The showcase of works was organised by Weaam El-Masry, founder and manager of the Easel and Camera galley, in cooperation with a curator Sahar Behairy.

The exhibitions continue until end of September.

Who sees, the eye or the mind? Is the illusion of a reality worth the reality? Those and many other questions are explored through artists’ works.

The Gouna show gathers the masterpieces of the artists, presenting them in an atmosphere of summer that is about to end.

In the 6 October segment of the exhibition, the works range in style and techniques.

“It is the soul that perceives… Personally, I think that we see with the brain. Our eyes are cameras that bring back images, information, capture them and transmit them in the form of signals ready to be decoded by our brain. This is where a whole process of analysis begins,” comments Weaam El-Masry who also included her own paintings and pencil and charcoal drawings in the show.

“Our relationship with the reality is an imaginary relationship, mediated without our knowledge by a language, a cultural environment, habits, lived experience [and] subconscious,” she adds.

El Masry’s works are dominated by obese women, fantasised bodies; sometimes also deformed.

“Why bulls? Why blood? Why so much anger? People often ask me why I paint bodies that are headless, mutilated or dominated by instinct. In fact, I paint the conflicting relationship between men and women approaching the topic without taboos,” she adds.

Heba Amin's color painting, exhibited in Al-Gouna, raises similar questions. Presenting fish in the form of a crocodile, Amin's imaginary world, inspired by Asian art, abounds in mystery and surrealism.

In her turn, Nevine Hamza’s work features geometric shapes, playing on the idea of ​​the conscious and the subconscious, two aspects of the same reality, two facets of the psychic state of the human being.

Shayma Kamel's black and white painting, which are also in Al-Gouna’s collection, features contemplative faces, side by side with jars and fish, in the colors of Nubia, her native land. Her work merges soul and body, matter and spirit, what exists and what does not.

Eight people on a bike

At the Golf Club, on the outskirts of Cairo, Mohamed Taman's painting shows a belly dancer, with a muscular body, blurred and abstract. He uses his usual technique that he refers to as "tamanism:" where transparent tones, a result of a mixture of various pigments, dominate his works.

While contemplating paintings by Tamam, we wonder: Is it really a woman or a man doing belly dancing? Marginalised in Taman's work, the human being risks losing his identity. In another painting, cheerful and ironic, exhibited in Al-Gouna, Taman shows a bicycle mounted with eight people on it, all members of the same family, on vacation by the sea.

Hanafi Mahmoud's spooky figures, created using crumpled paper, are blurred. They are representative of the relationship between reality and virtuality.

Mohamed Bassiouny applies the colors with luminous and dazzling brush strokes. He paints a cut-out and reformulated Van Gogh, summing up his tormented and unstable personality.

Walid Taher likes to remain cheerful, as usual. He presents an assembly of pictorial elements: colors, lines, figures, and imaginary creatures.

Sublime sculptures

Sculptor Ali Salem, who resides in France, expresses his love for colors and generous curves. He presents monumental works, accentuating the abstraction of human silhouettes, always obese women which he loves,, mainly using stone and colored polyester. In Al-Gouna, he exhibited a huge bull mounted by a sensual woman in flamboyant red color.

Through his two bronze statues – The Kiss, also on display in Al-Gouna, and The Lutenist at the Golf Club – Hossam Al-Sayed focuses on the perfect cohesion between the body of the woman and that of the man. They underscore an intimate subject and inviting us to ponder about that relationship.

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