It’s that time of year again, when artist Farid Fadel invites art enthusiasts to view his latest collection. This year, the exhibition will feature some 60 paintings and drawings depicting some colloquial Egyptian proverbs.
While portrayals of proverbs have generally leaned towards cartoonish illustrations, Fadel has challenged himself to produce some serious images that carry the spirit of the wisdom; “a sort of non-religious icon if you will, explains the press release.
The artist’s visits to the village of Akhmim, near Sohag, last year were the key inspirations behind the images in this collection. In this authentic Upper Egyptian locale, people not only use proverbs frequently in their daily lives, but their lifestyle and traditional crafts and trades provided Fadel with a wealth of imagery.
The signature detail in his work reflects the inspiration of his Renaissance style that endeavors to capture beauty. Farid Fadel is a high-standing artist who believes in nature, and paints everything he likes, artist George Bahgoory commented last year about Fadel’s work. But he must come through the reality of things and create a new vision.
Fadel was born in 1958 in Assuit, Upper Egypt, into a family noted for both its musicians and its doctors. Aside from his active social life, Fadel is a practicing ophthalmologist, a musician – he has studied violin and piano – as well as a singer. And let s not forget that he dabbles in art in his spare time.
In 1975, at the inauguration of Fadel’s fifth exhibition, the Egyptian parliament granted him a trip to Italy to see Renaissance art, which had a strong influence on his style. He is often described as a Renaissance man, referring partially to his stylistic tendencies but also to his various interests.
I used to be an ophthalmologist-artist, explains Fadel, but not anymore. These days, the artist dedicates more time to his sketchbooks and canvasses, spending time at his easel everyday.
In art, Fadel has gained considerable acclamation and has held 20 exhibitions. In 1973, Fadel was awarded the Pope s Medal and Vatican Award in an art contest with 50,000 participants from around the world. He has taken part in several group shows, both in Egypt and abroad, such as the People s Show in Portland, Maine, USA (1982), where he displayed 15 portraits.
His 14th solo exhibition was held at the Egyptian Cultural Center, Mayfair, London, 1989 and his 16th show was in the University of Toledo, Ohio, USA. Some of his portraits were used as covers for Egyptian magazines. One of his paintings was chosen as the back cover of the 1988 Nobel Prize Winner Naguib Mahfouz s brochure.
Proverbs and Sayings by Farid FadelCairo Opera House Art GalleryBorg El Gezira, Zamalek, CairoThe exhibition opens on Sunday, Oct. 21at 7 pm, and runs until Sunday, Oct. 28. Gallery hours are 10:30 am-2 pm & 4:30-8:30 pm