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Unveiling Helmi El Touni’s Folk Masterpieces at Picasso Art Gallery’s “Yahia Al Hob”

Art Exhibition Egyptian Artists Modern Art picasso Art Gallery
Unveiling Helmi El Touni’s Folk Masterpieces at Picasso Art Gallery’s “Yahia Al Hob”
written by
Malak Gharib

Known for his timeless folklore-inspired art, Helmi El Touni’s “Yahia Al Hob” exhibition takes over the Picasso Art Gallery. Located in Zamalek, the Picasso Art Gallery hosted a grand opening for “Yahia Al Hob” on Friday, March 1st. The exhibition has kicked off to celebrate love against hatred, violence, and war.

Honouring love, Helmy El Touni’s art pieces have always been a mirror of authentic Upper Egyptian folklore. Each painting celebrated a different kind of love, from self-love to heartfelt friendships and romantic love, and each painting stood out in its own way. Between vibrant colours and black and white paintings, the exhibition is absolutely inspiring with its universal theme.

This particular painting held a special place in the attendees’ hearts, drawing each person in as they walked into the room. The painting is of a beautiful bride, with the inscription taken from the iconic song, Sallem ‘Aalay, composed by Baligh Hamdy and performed by multiple artists, most famously Laila Mourad. The latest version of the song, sung by Ruby, is commonly used at Egyptian weddings. The timeless musical masterpiece merged with El Touni’s brush strokes, elevating the painting and making it one of many outstanding pieces at the exhibition.

El Touni is a towering figure in Egyptian folkloric art; his name is synonymous with the genre itself. Referred to as a legendary inspiration and mentor to countless local and regional artists, El Touni’s influence extends far beyond his creations. Through his artwork, he weaves the essence of Egypt’s rich heritage and Arab identity, shaping the modern face of Arab culture. Renowned as one of the Arab world’s finest book cover illustrators and graphic designers, El Touni’s work has earned him prestigious awards such as the Leipzig International Fair medal. His exhibitions, both solo and within international group showcases, serve as a testament to his enduring legacy.

The exhibition will run until March 15th. It stands as a testament to love’s transformative power within the realm of art, inviting all to embrace its resonance and beauty. Make sure to pay the exhibition a visit at the Picasso Art Gallery in Zamalek between 11:00 am and 9:00 pm, except Sundays.