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To the Other Exhibition at Al Bab Selim Gallery

Al Bab Selim Gallery: ‘To the Other’ by Walid Jahin

reviewed by
Katie Dryden
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Al Bab Selim Gallery: ‘To the Other’ by Walid Jahin

Walid Jahin was born in 1974 in Alexandria, Egypt; he earned a BA in Fine Art at the Alexandria University leading on to an MA in 2005 and now he is exhibiting a magical series of painting at El Bab Selim Gallery.  The title given to this exhibition is ‘To The Other’ and each and every piece that has been submitted holds something extraordinary.

From the moment we entered the gallery’s maze-like structure, a ray of blue-green colours were almost bursting out from one particular painting; it featured a man and a woman embraced in each another’s arms and was clearly emphasising a strong and positive emotion between them.  The blue-green colours of the two characters seemed to merge together until they were almost like the colour of stone which made them resemble ancient stone-statues.  This was further emphasised by the sturdy body proportions as they had an essence of the Greek, marble statues that always stand so tall and proud.

The figures in Jahin’s paintings could easily be seen as statues of mythological Gods and Goddesses or of those that guard the ancient temples.  They possess an importance and hierarchy about them which is further emphasised by their large scale and delicate beauty.  The female form is a concurrent theme within Jahin’s work and it is said that he is aiming to portray the woman as sacred, elevating her into another realm, one without any limitations.  He wishes to show women as being free.  Another delicate touch within his paintings are the red lips on the women; they are painted in a tone that contrasts every other colour on the canvas making them both eye-catching and beautiful, the reason for this is to emphasise the overall importance of women in his work.

Walid Jahin creates his gigantesque masterpieces using a variety of materials, the main medium however is paint, both oil and acrylic, though some of the pieces feature collaged elements using tiny bits of silver and gold paper on canvas.

One of the details to look out for in this series of paintings is that some of the women are posed with their eyes closed; this of course illustrates the serene, dreaminess of his paintings though it also suggests that there is so much more behind the woman’s body, such as a deep and powerful soul.

While the main element in these paintings is the female figure which is outlined with thick black lines, there are also great mounds of white flowers in several of them too; these emphasise the beauty and softness of the female’s essence as well as creating the overall sensual mood that Jahin’s paintings portray. Overall, ‘To The Other’ is a successful exhibition that deserves much appreciation for it highlights the divinity and beauty of women everywhere.

360 Tip

‘To The Other’ is Walid Jahin’s ninth solo exhibition though he has been participating in group exhibitions since 1995.  He is a member of many art groups including the Society of Artists and Writers; he has also won many prizes and worked as a lecturer at the University of Alexandria.

Best Bit

A brochure is available free of charge offering information about the artist and the exhibition. 

Worst Bit

Tough one - maybe that it''s only on display till May 21st? 

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