Artist combines a European palette with Egyptian cultural influences
CAIRO: Lutfi Abousariya’s art exhibition captures the viewer’s attention with its uniqueness, pushing the viewer to understand the symbolic expression behind the paintings. In fact, it’s almost impossible to walk past a painting without stopping to ponder its significance.
The artist graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in 1964, after which he spent five years working as an interior designer at the Ministry of Tourism. In 1970, he went to Belgium to study the art of sculpture at the Royal Faculty for Fine Arts. Abousariya commenced his career there as a graphic designer at a multi-national hypermarket in Belgium, where he used to design packages, logos and brochures.
“The hypermarket had branches in Spain, Portugal and France, which gave me an opportunity to display my art there, says Abousariya. Despite these opportunities, Abousariya decided to take an early retirement in 2002 to dedicate all his time to painting.
“Despite being away from home [Egypt], I don’t feel that I’ve left it, says Abousariya, “I have enough memories of my youth in Egypt engraved in my mind and this can keep me inspired for a hundred years if I lived.
For Abousariya, living abroad only affected his use of colors. Since the yellow color of the Egyptian desert does not give him color variety, Abousariya uses the striking colors of the European greenery in his paintings.
The exhibition is the fruit of different periods, but the majority of the paintings are from 2005-06. Most of the pieces painted in 2006 reflect the artist’s graphic experience. Abousariya used five graphic techniques in his drawings: “Pointe Seche, “Aqua Teinte, “Vernis Trous, “Sucre and “Tau Forte.
Abousariya explains that he stays away from including politics and all its disasters in his work, but when Baghdad was bombed he found himself emotionally involved with events.
“When Baghdad was bombed I was destroyed and I screamed in silence, says Abousariya. As a result, Abousariya decided to draw a series of paintings in which he uses musical instruments as a motif. “I decided to draw an instrument from every country and turn it into a harmonious painting, but still the Egyptian touch is part of every drawing where I drew some Arabic words in the background.
If there is a painting that Abousariya is passionate about and doesn’t want to part with, it would be “The History Starts from Here, combining the Roman, Turkish, Ottoman and modern civilizations in one painting. In this painting a woman is reading a book in French, Latin, Arabic, Hebrew, and displaying the numbers from one to seven with their great significance. “I used green in the background as a symbol of fertility, and a watch to say that civilization does not dread time, but time dreads civilization, explains Abousariya.