Medrar Gallery: ‘The Good the Bad & the Crimson Shoe’ Exhibition
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.