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Garden City, Cairo, Egypt.
Duroub Gallery: Small Art Works Exhibition 2010
We often visit art galleries in Cairo to admire works of art without any intention of buying anything. Either the art is not for sale because it is part of a private collection or the scale of the piece and the corresponding price tag make it impractical to even consider owning it. However, if you’ve been searching for a new painting or any other work of art to add to your personal collection, we recommend Duroub Gallery in Garden City.
Currently on display at Duroub Gallery, the Small Art Works exhibition 2010 features more than sixty artists. Each artist has a handful of works on display; so the walls of this modest gallery are overwhelmingly packed. While this detracts from our ability to view and appreciate each painting individually, it certainly makes shopping for a new piece of art easier because of the range of styles on display. Many of the small, framed canvasses feature the people, landscapes and traditions of Egypt. The paintings range from impressionist cityscapes to cubist portraits, as well as some abstract pieces and a number of beautiful examples of Arabic calligraphy.
Aside from the vibrant collection of paintings, the exhibition also features small metal sculptures and hand-painted ceramic discs and tiles. Two jewellery cases near the gallery entrance are worth checking out for some gorgeous, artistically crafted silver pieces. Holiday shoppers should be sure to check out this jewellery selection for unique gift ideas.
The best part about the Small Art Works Exhibition is that the art pieces are quite reasonably priced. A number of pieces are priced in the range of 600LE to 700LE, making the work of these local artists quite accessible to the public compared to works sold at other galleries.
However, getting to the gallery is not as accessible; at least not by car. Located on Latin America Street near the British Embassy, the gallery can only be reached by foot as it is blocked off by security patrol cars. Duroub Gallery suggests parking your car in the garage of the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel, but you’ll save a lot of hassle if you walk over or take a taxi.
Medrar Gallery is an important artistic platform creating a dynamic dialogue and collaboration between contemporary artists in Cairo; something that was strongly manifested in its latest prolific and avant-gardist exhibition, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Crimson Shoe’.
'The Good, The Bad and the Crimson Shoe' is an exhibition primarily showcasing the works of two promising artists; Mohamed El Maghraby and Ahmed Tawfig. The first pieces that caught our eyes amidst observing the exhibition were a series of graphic illustrations that seemed to represent the making of a cartoon. Those were the works of none other than Ahmed Tawfig— a young artist in his twenties and a student at the High Institute for Applied Arts, whose signature style is mainly creating comics, computerized and digital drawings.
Most of Tawfig’s paintings feature a colourful mixture of characters ranging from superheroes with giant wings, to the ugly wicked beings with crooked teeth and dark green skin. One particular piece features a rather grotesque creature on a white background who appears to be either throwing up or blowing fire.
While observing other drawings further into the gallery, we noticed a more realistic approach in the drawings of certain figures and objects. Those were the pieces of Mohamed El Maghraby, who relies on architecture as a visual element in his pieces. El Maghraby uses dotted lines around his drawings as well as other various lines and tiny digital numbers with a barcode— stressing on the idea of consumerism.
Perhaps the most intricate aspect about El Maghraby’s pieces is the idea that he uses a microscope to observe the deeper reality of the objects before painting them; something that he perfectly depicted in a text he wrote for one of his pieces “I always see objects under the microscope to understand what they are, but what If I put the crimson shoe under the microscope? Salma said. Salma’s use of the microscope is purely for informational purposes; the microscope is sort of an eye that Salma sees through, to see the reality of things around her […]”
Born in 1985, El Maghraby graduated from the Architecture department at the High Institute of Technology in 2007. In most of his artworks, El Maghraby experiments using multimedia including drawing, painting, printing and illustration. One piece portrays a delicate painting of a reindeer on a tiny piece of board; the background is completely bare which emphasises that the focus is on the object – the reindeer, rather than a scene.
‘The Good, the Bad and the Crimson Show’ is an enticing, modern and refreshing exhibition. The creations of both artists—though very different, yet complemented one another quite nicely, adding a modern and edgy touch to the general atmosphere of the exhibition. Overall, an exhibition definitely worth the visit for those with an interest in modern art.