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Safarkhan’s Rolling Summer Collection

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Unique to the rest of the year, the Summer Collective presents stored art for display and sale. It is an opportunity to see what you missed when you missed the exhibition.

By Bridget McKinney and Sarah Al Mojaddidi

One has to admit that this is not a good time for art sales in Egypt. Summer is never good for art sales at any rate. But needs must. So as most galleries put on their summer stock exhibitions, Safarkhan has brought out some of the top Modern pioneers and current artists in a rolling exhibition.

Safarkhan’s Summer Collective Exhibition draws together both the elder generation and current Egyptian artists, including Kamal Khalifa, Ihab Shaker, Ahmed Hamid, Alyaa Kamal, Mohamed Ismail, Nazli Madhoor, Souad Mardem Bey, Katherine Bakhoum, Anna Boghigian, Ahmed Zaghloul, Effat Maghi, and Nermine Hammam.

Unique to the rest of the year, the Summer Collective presents stored art for display and sale. It is an opportunity to see what you missed when you missed the exhibition. It is also an opportunity to re- assess the ‘other’ works of artists you thought you understood. And it provides you with a chance to see all of those works at once.

Mme. Sherwit Shafei, founder of Safarkhan Gallery, curated a range of the old and the recent top artists for this show. She shared her criteria for this exhibition with The Daily News Egypt: ‘’I chose these artworks because I want visitors to be able to have a collection, in my opinion a viewing pleasure, of the loveliest pieces of modern and contemporary Egyptian art. I wanted to be able to showcase a combination of different styles, all milestones in itself and avoid presenting a monotonous theme throughout the exhibition.” Mme. Shafei’s philosophy and taste are manifest in her choice of works to display.

Among the works hanging currently, and maybe top among them, are the works of Kamal Khalifa (1926 – 1968), working in acrylic on canvass, but appearing as ink on paper. The broad brush strokes convey image and figure, very strong, yet evocative and approachable.

The works of Mohamed Ismail on display are eye-catching; the ochre-hued quail and female images share a rare moment. “Mohamed Ismail travelled the world, yet never resorted to traditional and academic methods to record his experiences. He was attracted to the essence of things, not by their appearances,” remembers Mme. Shafei nostalgically.

For multi-talented Nermine Hammam, art comes from the unexpected outcomes of human interactions: “Collaboration is the answer; it is all that stands between us and the void.”

Alyaa Kamel works in ink and the recent developments in Egypt inspired her to add bright red contrasts to her work to personify love and hope. Kamel claims “I recreate the beauty of what I have seen all of these years, notably the recent strife; where the vast spectrum of human emotions were put centre stage. An explosion of life: resentment, tears, and laughter. My work is an expression of hope, hope for a better life waiting for us.” Red circles on the works of art, however, are hard to find.

Buyers for art now, where might they be?

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