Mariam Hamdy

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Latest by Mariam Hamdy


‘Tank Gir’: A failed, tired exercise in shock tactics

Currently showing at Misr Gallery in Zamalek is the much anticipated, hugely buzzed about exhibit “Tank Girl” by Nadine Hammam. Art lovers were looking forward to the usually controversial works of Hammam, particularly in light of the liberal versus conservative discourse that has preoccupied intellectual circuits. Few exhibits of late have created the type of …

Mariam Hamdy

‘Tank Gir’: A failed, tired exercise in shock tactics

Currently showing at Misr Gallery in Zamalek is the much anticipated, hugely buzzed about exhibit “Tank Girl” by Nadine Hammam. Art lovers were looking forward to the usually controversial works of Hammam, particularly in light of the liberal versus conservative discourse that has preoccupied intellectual circuits. Few exhibits of late have created the type of …

Mariam Hamdy

EU ambassador bids a ‘paradoxical’ farewell to Egypt

Last week saw the last of remarkable events hosted by EU Ambassador Mark Franco and his wife, Rita Jansen, at their residence in Zamalek. As loyal patrons of Egyptian art, the exhibitions, talks, performances and concerts they hosted were truly unprecedented. As ambassadors on a political mission to represent and aid the EU’s relations with …

Mariam Hamdy

Perusing through the ‘Gardens of Egypt’

Currently at the Safar Khan Gallery in Zamalek is a show titled "Gardens of Egypt" by Anna Boghiguian. A highly anticipated show, Boghiguian is an artist who has been exhibiting work since 1980; work that is as aesthetically intriguing as it is thought-provoking, and many were looking forward to more of her loving yet decidedly …

Mariam Hamdy

The sad life of Lise Allam’s ‘dolls’

Currently showing at Gezira Art Center in Zamalek is an exhibition entitled “Dolls” by Lise Allam, a Danish artist who has been living in Egypt for more than 30 years. The show, which features a substantial number of oil paintings, as well as a few sketches scattered in between, is easily one of the most …

Mariam Hamdy

A spellbinding snapshot of Gharb Soheil

C urrently showing at the Easel and Camera Gallery in Maadi is a photographic exhibition titled “From Gharb Soheil” by Hoda Baraka. Inaugurated by Egyptian artist Mohamed Abla, the exhibition opening was a calm and composed affair, despite the magnitude and urgency of the subject matter it tackles. This is Baraka’s first photography exhibition, yet she …

Mariam Hamdy

Cairo in the alternate eyes of Juan Carlos Noria

Currently showing at Articulate Baboon in Designopolis is an exhibition by graffiti artist Juan Carlos Noria. Born in Caracas, Venezuela and raised in Ottawa, Canada, Noria was known early on as a figure skater, then a skateboarder and now is a full time graffiti artist and an ardent advocate of live painting. His new exhibit, …

Mariam Hamdy

Depicting the prayer call

On June 2, Sotheby’s, the world’s most prestigious auction house and art-related financing company, sold one of the most celebrated Orientalist paintings ever created, “Le Muezzin,” by Jean-Léon Gérôme. The painting, which shows a man calling for prayer, has been in the same private collection for over 30 years and it was put on the …

Mariam Hamdy

Islamic design receives pop treatment in new exhibit space

The newest addition to the ever-expanding Cairo is Designopolis, a colossal project located a few kilometers after the Cairo Alexandria toll station. A Bonyan development, a subsidiary of the vast Citadel Capital Group, Designopolis is a comprehensive design complex that caters to everything related to the upper class home, from mortgage companies to interior design …

Mariam Hamdy

Images of equestrian elegance

This week, the American University in Cairo Press released a new photography book titled “The Arabian Horse of Egypt.” Featuring works by Nasr Marei and a heartfelt introduction by Her Royal Highness Princes Alia Bint Al Hussein, the book is both visually and intellectually stimulating. Those who aren’t acquainted with Arabian horse breeding probably don’t …

Mariam Hamdy

In the glorious realms of Anfoushi

Drawing is the basis of art creation, be it with pencil, charcoal, or any other mark-making edge. Yet despite that obvious fact, many aspiring artists overlook the medium as a preparation stage in the more serious and respected process of painting. One look at Rabab Nemr’s body of work proves otherwise. Nemr is a veteran …

Mariam Hamdy

Deep into the heart of Africa

Photography is a particularly strong medium when explored properly. Alas, it’s been fairly difficult to find a photography exhibition in Cairo without cliché and tired ideas. The recent exhibited works have been somewhat pasty: either too abstract to incite interest or too obvious to sustain attention. A wonderful interruption to the pallor of today’s photography …

Mariam Hamdy

Finding Neverland in Cairo

Currently showing at the Palace of Arts at the Cairo Opera House is a refreshing little show titled “Capturing Neverland. Orchestrated by Sara Khazem, a Lebanese-American photographer, the show exhibits the products of a workshop conducted by Khazem to teach street children and orphans in Egypt the basics of photography. The exhibition hosts the work …

Mariam Hamdy

A lighthearted, powerful exploration of gender issues

Occasional imaginative and probing works aside, most critics have grown weary of exhibitions that stick closely to standard gender problems. The reason could perhaps be attributed to the violent attitude some artists display against the opposite sex which, in many cases, reaches intolerable extremes. The title of Huda Lutfi’s current exhibition at the Townhouse Gallery, …

Mariam Hamdy

A portrait of Jehan Sadat as an artist

Jehan Sadat is a woman whose name is synonymous with a vital part of Egypt’s modern history. As the first lady of Egypt for 11 years that shaped the country as we know it now, she has been portrayed in different lights: from a loving mother, a pioneer in women’s rights movements, a philanthropist and …

Mariam Hamdy

A digested record of art history in 'Alexandria'

One of the most tantalizing things about Cairo is the little surprises it always manages to tuck away in its street corners. Of those surprises are the tiny galleries that are small enough to remain hidden, yet big enough to house a decent collection. Safar Khan Gallery in Zamalek is one such treasure trove, currently …

Mariam Hamdy

YEAREND SPECIAL: The year in art

2009 has been a somewhat bittersweet year for the local art scene. It was sweet in because galleries have become real powerhouses with a much stronger hold on the reins when it comes to the art business than they have ever been in Cairo. The bitter side of it is that not all the artists …

Mariam Hamdy

Reassuming your position

The Townhouse Gallery is currently hosting a group show titled “Assume the Position, carefully translated into Arabic as “Khaly Balak (be careful or take care). Hosting the work of nine different artists from around the world, the show attempts to steadily redefine first impressions. It takes various situations, from everyday encounters to more large-scale events, …

Mariam Hamdy

Rana Chalabi's not so wild horses

Currently showing at Lot17 in Zamalek is a new exhibit titled “Khayal wa khuyool (Fantasy and Horses) by Rana Chalabi. An exceptionally small exhibition space, Lot 17 always manages to offer a considerably large amount of pieces on its limited wall space only just barely without suffocating or cramming up the space. Rana Chalabi is …

Mariam Hamdy

An artistic study of the human body

Currently at El Masar Gallery is a holistic exhibition celebrating the human body titled “Il Corpus Homanus. Regardless of the fact that both the use of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man on the cover of the exhibition’s catalogue and invitation, as well as titling it in Latin was somewhat irrelevant, the work on display was …

Mariam Hamdy

Selling art to the city

Having just returned from viewing several exhibitions in London, I was able to look at the art scene in Cairo with a fresh eye. This is not intended as an analytical comparison between both cities’ approach to art, but rather shedding of light on an aspect of art not vehemently tackled in Cairo. The definition …

Mariam Hamdy

A compact display of modern Egyptian sculpture

The Zamalek Art Gallery is currently hosting yet another successful retrospective titled “Panorama of Egyptian Sculpture. Egyptian sculptors have an exquisitely rich heritage from which they drew their inspiration and this exhibition shows the fruits of their labor. Through the works of more than 30 sculptors, “Panorama showcases the history of modern sculpture in Egypt, …

Mariam Hamdy

The taste of bread

Darb 1718’s new show, “Bread, is one of the most cohesive and ambitious exhibitions of the year. The show explores the importance of this commodity in terms of being the building block of every society, focusing particularly on Egypt. Egypt was at one point in 2008 on the brink of a major political calamity; the …

Mariam Hamdy

Egyptian stars make an unremarkable 'visit' in Hanfaninha exhibit

I’ve always been weary of being an art critic rather than a supportive advocate of arts. It’s difficult, when the artist under scrutiny is a young, aspiring one, and there’s a thin line between harshness and plain honesty. But poor art is poor art; to water down the inadequacies of a certain art is, in …

Mariam Hamdy

A place true art can call home

The Zamalek Art Gallery is unlike most art spaces in Cairo. Almost 10 years old, its discreet and subtle existence negates the profound impact it has had on the art scene in Cairo. Everything about the gallery exudes an inviting air of calmness. As a classic white cube format, the gallery space was founded in …

Mariam Hamdy

An amateurish exploration of the self

The Townhouse Gallery is known for the innumerable workshops and activities it provides aspiring young artists who wish to develop their talent and enhance their culture with their work. The gallery’s latest presentation is an exhibit titled “But a Shadow of Myself, the fruit of Townhouse’s Outreach Program led by artist Alexandra Zevin. The walls …

Mariam Hamdy

Cairo facades mingle with seashore scenery in Kunst exhibit

Currently showing at Kunst Gallery downtown is a show titled “El-Makan (The Place) by artists Reham Mostafa and Ahmed El-Karim Khaled. The show hosts a collection of photography, both in black and white as well as color. Primarily composed of images of still life, the exhibited pieces can be grouped into three categories: historical facades, …

Mariam Hamdy

Strong Egyptianess in Doroub's group exhibit

The Doroub Gallery in Garden City is one of the most prestigious art spaces in Cairo, celebrated for its unique curating approach and the country’s marquee artists it hosts. Doroub is currently holding its annual summer group exhibit that showcases the best pieces they’ve presented throughout the year so far. The guest of honor at …

Mariam Hamdy

A 'melancholic' rendezvous in a coffee shop

In the middle of Cairo’s downtown bustle is a little café that doubles as a gallery space named “Kunst. With barely enough room to encompass its tables and chairs, the café has emptied its walls for artists to hang their work for customers and the general public alike. Currently occupying the walls of Kunst café …

Mariam Hamdy

Established and up-and-coming artists meet in new exhibit

AlMasar Gallery is currently hosting its second group show titled “Contemporary Views II featuring an array of Egyptian contemporary artists, from the more established ones to the young talents beginning to make their mark. The majority of the works are a joy to look at, accomplished by painters with a mastery of skill that shows …

Mariam Hamdy