Local artist Nagla Ezzat has just opened the largest show of her career and thankfully, you can check it out without leaving the comfort of your home.
Like many ambitious young artists, Ezzat has skipped the judicious eyes of gallery owners and the sneering words of the critics and decided to take her work directly to the people by creating her own website (www.naglaezzat.com).
It’s just the latest artistic step for the 31-year-old artist, who has shown her work across the US and Europe and is currently ensconced in a master’s degree.
“Somebody just sent me an email and said, ‘good job for making the website, because if you’re not online, you’re nothing’, Ezzat told The Daily Star Egypt, adding that creating the site allowed her to organize her oeuvre and create a definitive resource for fans and colleagues.
“It’s important for an artist to have a workspace and to be able to say, ‘this is my office in the world,’ she says.
The site opened earlier this month.
Before the site, which is stacked with extras and took a year to create, Ezzat admits that her “paintings [were] scattered everywhere.
Sure, while the web is a handy way to promote your work, nothing beats checking out the real thing at a gallery, right?
Not so, says Ezzat.
Since the artist was able to upload her thoughts and motivations alongside her stark, graphically-rendered drawings, she says viewers can enjoy a more engaging experience in cyberspace than in the real world.
“It’s more powerful because everything is there together – the writing is there and when you look at it, you can feel the philosophy, and if you want to know more about the drawing, then you can read about it.
Ezzat got her artistic start working as an illustrator for newspapers, where she created lifelike sketches of public figures on a tight timeline. While she only had about two days to create these drawings, which are included on the website, Ezzat’s work from this period shows her abilities as both a portrait artist and a stylist.
In particular, Ezzat’s sketch of writer Ahmad Bahaa El Din captures both his character and his countenance without overstepping the bounds of realism. While time constraints have forced her to drop newspaper illustration, the experience has stuck with her and imbued her work with a social conscience that can also be traced to her graduate studies, which explore the theme of freedom in South African art.
She’s a busy lady.
“They fight for freedom through their art – that is the best thing an artist can do. [The artist’s] role is just as important as a journalist or an actor. Art educates society, she says.
However, while Ezzat’s latest works are optimistic and socially-conscious, her earlier works explore themes of isolation, loneliness and despair. In fact, one collection featured on the website called “Loneliness features plenty of stark images and moody textures.
“Everybody has a change in life. At first, I was 25 and this is how I felt [at the time], she says, noting that it was a period in her life when she struggled with feelings of seclusion and disconnection.
Since then, however, Ezzat has married and now has a two-year-old daughter named Nour.
“It [was just] another stage in my life. When you’re lonely you can think you’re alone, but when you’re with God, you’re not alone so you won’t have this worry.