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Out of the Box Exhibition at Zamalek Art Gallery

Zamalek Art Gallery: ‘Out of the Box’ Exhibition

reviewed by
Katie Dryden
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Zamalek Art Gallery: ‘Out of the Box’ Exhibition

Art is not only about beauty and appreciation; sometimes it can be used to communicate a very important, global message to the world, as proven by Adel Moustafa.  Born in 1980 in Kafr El Sheikh, but now based in Alexandria, this talented artist has enjoyed a privileged education achieving a Masters Degree in Fine Arts which led him to many exhibitions around the world including India, Italy and Yemen.

From the moment you enter the exquisite Zamalek Art Gallery, the colours of dust and smoke pollute the scene.  It’s murky, grimy and just plain unsightly but this is exactly what Moustafa wants to convey.  The exhibition is titled ‘Out Of The Box’, and Moustafa certainly lets this reality out. The results are as clear as day and as broad as the headlines of a newspaper.

When you look a little closer and focus on the details, it’s clear to see the images of cars, buildings and piles of rubbish which exist here as a clear representation of the pollution and damage we are causing every single day.  Entwined within this polluted and unfortunate scene are shoals of fish which suffer and even die at the hands of our ‘new world’.  Every day when we drive our cars to work; smoke our cigarettes and carelessly drop litter on the floor, we are destroying another piece of our natural habitat and Moustafa conveys this idea perfectly and in numerous ways. 

First of all, the vast size that he has chosen to display his work implies that the problem is also vast and growing.  Second, the materials used; the artist does not simply paint the images onto the surface, he actually prints them on paper and then sticks them on which is rather ironic yet at the same time symbolic for this paper comes from trees and we are destroying trees every single day to create paper and then disposing of it.  It can take a hundred years for a tree to grow yet seconds to cut it down.  The message communicated through each piece is an important one and what a fantastic way to communicate it, through the beauty of art, something that we are inclined to stop and study for its meanings.

An interesting element that we can see in the paintings is the way in which the artist voids all rules of perspective and gravity, in fact it is as though he is creating a new world upon the canvas.  Through our ongoing pollution we are also creating a ‘new world’ though unfortunately it is not for the greater good.  Moustafa only opens the door to give us a peek of what may be around the corner for us.  The exhibition though heavy in content was both enlightening and a representation of the artist’s talent.

One of the more elegant touches to this exhibition was that whilst admiring, contemplating and appreciating these large, bold statements, a well-dressed gentlemen was serving tiny sandwiches filled with pate and creamed cheese later accompanied by a silver tray of drinks.  If that wasn’t enough there was also small orchestra performing an exquisite piece of music with string instruments.

Zamalek Art Gallery is well-known for holding marvellous, talent-filled exhibitions and ‘Out Of the Box’ has only enforced its excellent reputation.  Moustafa has managed to combine the beauty of art and the importance of the world we live in into one strong, meaningful statement that will help work towards the greater good and the salvation of our world. 

360 Tip

The exhibition will run till June 8th.

Best Bit

A three-in-one exhibition: a ray of delicious snacks and drinks; a serene background music and of course the artwork itself.

Worst Bit

Due to it being the opening night, the space was a little crowded.

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