A world of heart-capturing red head fairy tales mesmerising beautiful mermaids and exquisite “high breed females”, that’s how veteran artist Maryem Abdel Wahab featured women in her latest exhibition “In the isthmus of the road”.
“I’ve dedicated my years of painting into featuring women. They present all the beauty that can be captured in life. The way I see it, men only present physical power and cruelty in art. They cannot be featured in other ways, while women resemble unconditional love, care, femininity, and altruism, and many other feelings,” Abdel Wahab told Daily News Egypt.
During her career, the prominent artist only featured men two times in her paintings, and both were to present the mercilessness men have, as she sees nothing else in them to be presented art wise. Abdel Wahab follows a school that only captures women’s beauty even if in “a symbolic and unrealistic way.”
“Women were once worshiped and looked at as goddesses. For me, they are, still, magical creatures, whose captivating charm in an endless road when it comes to how they are featured in portraits,” she explained.
In her 30 paintings, Abdel Wahab presented women in different “angelic” forms. Most of her art work illustrates women with long hair, while swaying in different positions.
With mandala as a main theme of her art work, Abdel Wahab said that this is her way of finding inner peace and connecting to herself.
“I believe I am at the awakening stage of my life. It is the phase of which I get lost within colours, and lose my consciousness between the painting lines. Every time I feel I need to solve an issue in my own life or reconnect to myself, I hold the brush and when I am done, I sometimes wonder how I managed to produce this art work!” she asserted.
Abdel Wahab variously uses the mandala in her work, whether they are applied as an earring for the fairy tale, or a pin holding the thick hair of the mermaid. Vibrant in colours, mandalas are redefined in use at every piece of art.
“At a certain time of my life, I was depressed, and the use of colours and mandalas was one of my ways out. Ever since, I turned into the vibrantly manifesting my portraits,” Abdel Wahab added.
For two years, she spent most of her time working on this exhibition, and personally connecting to every showcased woman. Surrounded with energetic hues, one cannot find any portrait named.
“I do not believe in names!” Abdel Wahab firmly said, adding that “naming an art work means limiting the way someone sees it, which contradicts with the art’s main target of unleashing delivered message to audience.”
Following the explanation, Abdel Wahab explained that this is the first exhibition she has ever named in her long, rich artistic life.
“I only labelled the exhibition based on the request of Lamasatt Art Gallery, as they are required to title it. However, I see that any name stands in between me as an artist and audience. What if the message they receive from a certain portrait is totally different that the given signature?!” Abdel Wahab wondered.
“In the isthmus of the road” is one of Abdel Wahab’s few local exhibitions, as most of her works featured internationally, with focuses for global accreditation, the artist held few exhibitions in Egypt.
“At a younger age, I aimed for my name to roam the world. Now that I have satisfyingly reached that, my focus is for further expansion in Egypt,” she noted.
The veteran artist asserted that from the different exhibit halls she has been showcasing her work all of her life, Lamasatt Art Gallery matches the international standards existing around the world.
“I knew that the next exhibition I’m holding in Egypt will be at the same gallery, not only for the professionalism the staff has in dealing with art works, but also for their attention to small details, that others would not consider,” she concluded.