Sign in using your account with
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.
Located in the heart of the island, Zamalek Art Gallery is currently exhibiting ‘Paris’ by revered Egyptian artist Farghali Abdel Hafez. Setting out to discover the intricacy within the relationship between certain cities and himself, Farghali has held a string of exhibitions starting in Venice, moving from Aswan to Cairo, and now we see him in the city of love, Paris.
A clean and straightforward set up, Zamalek Art Gallery does nothing more than open its blue door for the art to speak for itself. Drenched in daylight, with white walls and subdued floors, the bursts of colours from the pieces are undistracted and unavoidable.
Farghali’s pieces are dense and thick with vibrant colours; layered with paint, pastels, crayons and paper cut outs. This use of mixed-media gives depth to his work, the images draw you closer and with every closer look another detail is discovered. He almost scribbles; the shapes are sketched yet easily recognizable. His images of Paris are a mesh of cafés, the Champs-Élysées, lovers strolling by the Eiffel Tower and remnants of La Belle Époque and its cancan dancers; all splashed out in potent pinks, oranges, blues and purples with the occasional gold glitter sparkle to add to the magic.
There is a charmingly childlike quality to Farghali’s art; his perspectives are distorted and the lampposts he depicts along the streets of Paris often lay flat on the ground. Such motifs exude an Egyptian-ness, a theme that is indeed meant to coexist in his depictions of Paris. The artist likens the city to Thebes; the ‘original treasure trove’ that was once central to knowledge, art and culture. The beauty in this likening is how subtly it is delivered; it’s not visually obvious but rather emotionally felt. There is something largely familiar about his images of Paris, though nothing you can pinpoint.
The series is wonderfully alive, the colours fantastically rich; overall they are quite similar though. Two or three next to each other along a wall are most desirable to be taken home. The only stand-alone item that spoke a slightly different language was a large, mostly yellow painting in the centre of the exhibition. The figures are more defined, carrying clearer features and body parts. A couple with a baby carriage take up most of the canvas, along with a man in uniform to one side and another that looks suspiciously like Freud. In the details though, other small worlds are opened up. Lovers can be found absorbed in a kiss while famous Parisian monuments float around aimlessly in the vast background.
As a collection, ‘Paris’ is pure, simple and honest. Although set in a different city it’s evocative of a city we also know and perhaps live in to a certain extent. We view the city through the artist’s mind and in his relating it to himself, he somehow relates it to us.