“An unplanned encounter with Naguib Mahfouz changed my daily life, writes artist Nevine Guindy. “It took only a couple of seminars in his presence for this awesome character to haunt my canvas for two years. The result: a series of portraits currently on exhibit at El Hanager Center at the Cairo Opera House in which the artist tries to recapture her impressions of the Nobel Laureate.
Each of the 21 portraits is the result of one session with Mahfouz, the author choosing the location where he would be amongst his “admirers .
“These are some of my impressions which I hope will contribute in portraying the man who portrayed Egyptian culture, Guindy adds.
She was able to recapture the modesty that many of those who met the author noted.
“It says a lot of someone who remains unchanged after being awarded the greatest honor that can be bestowed on a man of letters, writes Dennys Johnson Davies in a commentary to The Daily Star Egypt shortly after Mahfouz passed away. Davies translated several of Mahfouz’s works. “Few people could continue to retain the same genuine modesty about themselves and the same ability to give a broad smile to everyone he met.
Guindy graduated from the American University in Cairo in 1985, where she studied economics, computer science, and art history. She had joined Sabry Ragheb’s studio when she was still at primary school, learning the principles of painting. She participated in several exhibitions, from 1984, but had her first one-woman-show in 1993. Guindy’s portfolio includes portraits of several notable personalities, including former United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali, current Egyptian Ambassador to the Vatican Nevine Semeika, and Yousreya Sawiris, a former member of parliament.
Looking at HimEl Hanager Center, Cairo Opera HouseEl Gezira, ZamalekRunning until Dec. 20