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‘Roller Coaster’ Exhibition at Zamalek Art Gallery

Rollercoaster: Yasmine El Hazek Captures the Brilliant Madness of Life with Colourful Collection

reviewed by
Dina Mokhtar
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Rollercoaster: Yasmine El Hazek Captures the Brilliant Madness of Life with Colourful Collection

A wise man, or woman, once said that life resembles a rollercoaster ride; it has its ups and downs and it’s hectic. Though her works don’t necessarily cover the up and downs, Yasmine El Hazek’s latest collection, Rollercoaster – displayed at Zamalek Art Gallery – certainly encompasses the madness of life.

Hard as it might be, life still has its unique beauty – this is what El Hazek tries to deliver with a handful of mixed-media paintings alongside a number of bronze sculptures. Mainly based on the three primary colours, the artist’s colourful palette draws a variety of scenes, which, although based on real life, have their own rhythm and logic; be it a dancing hippo or a couple of cows peacefully lounging in a garden, all is possible in this bizarre world.

In a 150 x 193 cm painting, all is present in what seems to be a garden in the sunset; from two fish jumping out of the water to kiss each other in the air, to a hippo playing the flute and even two lovers enjoying a romantic moment behind the tree.


In another, on a background of red and green, there’s a belly-dancing hippo and a man dancing along with a cane in one hand and a tambourine in the other. In the same scene there’s a pole, on which a man is hanging and a woman is leaning on and singing. But the illogical doesn’t end here, because in the upper third of the painting, there is woman, a duck and a monkey with a flower in his mouth is dangling. It’s chaotic and crazy, but it’s real in Rollercoaster.

And while it takes some bravery to grasp the madness in this Rollercoaster ride, the bronze sculptures can be a little settling for the tastes of the typical visitor of art galleries in Egypt. Mind you, they aren’t any saner than the paintings. For example, there’s a sculpture of a man that has the body of an electric guitar, while another comprises the two busts of a man and a woman, both of whom have fish tails instead of hair on their heads.

Rollercoaster is exactly as life is; it has its ups and downs, but it’s your choice whether to despair or enjoy it. The paintings in this exhibition may not appeal to a classic art enthusiast, but it has its own quirkiness and boldness for those who find beauty in everything.

360 Tip

Rollercoaster is on show till February 14th.

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