CAIRO: The sun has always figured prominently in life in Egypt. Its scorching rays beat down on the country during the summer months, and history is full of examples of the significant role it has played. In ancient Egypt, it was first worshipped as Horus, then Ra and later as Amun-Ra.
Artist Laila Izzat has chosen to base her newest exhibition, entitled “The Sun, on that one powerful star.
The artwork is stunning, with the abstract representation of the sun seemingly jumping off of the canvas. Izzat herself is a striking woman, whose dazzling character is clearly showcased in her work.
According to Izzat, the basis behind her choosing the sun is because to her the sun reflects “the energy, the heat, everything . simply life, she says, adding that she does not like to offer too many details about her work, as she feels that words can do little to explain her art. The small gallery, Safar Khan, is lit up by these paintings, which surround the walls in all shapes and sizes. The warm shades of yellow, red and white of acrylic and oil paints shine against the dark background.
This style is not pure abstraction, but rather an abstraction of the sun. According to Fadia Badrawy, a graphic designer, “It reminds me of the sun, which is interesting because sometime you have an abstract title of a painting, [and] it has nothing to do with what you feel or what you see; but this one really does, she says.
Izzat’s style in the paintings is also very contemporary, which suits her work perfectly.
According to Amina Sidki, “I don’t like all modern art, especially the ones that are a little macabre . But here the colors are superb, very alive and full of spontaneity . It’s really [a] celebration of life, and as such I am very attracted to that.
Izzat has been a working artist for 55 years now. When she first began, she was more involved in figurative and impressionistic art, and was famous for her paintings of horses. But 30 years ago, Izzat found her passion in abstract art, which has been her signature style ever since.
Izzet was tutored by the Armenian painter Zorian in the 1950’s. She has exhibited in numerous personal and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, including in New York, Paris, Switzerland and participated in Biennales in Madrid, Iraq and Croatia.
Visit The Sun exhibition by Leila Izzat at the Safar Khan Gallery, 6 Brazil St., Zamalek, open until April 14, 2006.