Attyat Sayed is described as one who does not start a painting with an image in mind, but discovers her subjects as she goes along, something that is clearly apparent in her latest exhibition Colour Vision Angles. Although there is no unifying theme in terms of subject, Sayed’s beautiful style makes for a striking, and for the most part coherent, exhibition.
Sayed paints everything, from mundane objects like teapots and chairs, to models in different positions, souks, fish and sewing machines. She uses broad strokes and plenty of lines to give us distorted images and impressions of everyday things.
Using vivid colours, like in her paintings of pots, her style hints at dynamic but controlled brush strokes – also apparent in her sketch of a woman stretching. The richness in her colour palette attracts the eye, with some of the imagery coming alive through bold colours, while others use more subdued and sombre options. Her paintings of chairs, in vibrant greens and blues, distort the object’s form, like something out of Alice in Wonderland, but ultimately create appealing imagery.
Sayed’s experience as an illustrator for Al Gomhoria and Al Masaa newspapers since 1995 lends confidence to her black and white paintings, also done with chaotic, explosive lines that form lively images without the help of too many colours.
Two of her paintings portray essentially the same scene: women gathered at a souk. While the first is colourful and gives off an almost playful sense, the second is moody, with colours that include blues, black, grey and white. Despite minor differences between the two paintings, the sharpest distinction comes in the form of colour and it is very interesting to experience the different feelings each painting evokes, despite portraying nearly the same exact figures and forms.
We found her “fishes” to be a bit lacking— if anything, they were not as exciting as her other images, and despite incorporating the same style, they were on the safe side, which we found uninteresting and not stimulating.
Sayid experiments with perspective and vector lines to challenge viewers into seeing what is hidden beneath the surface of her imagery; her paintings of sewing machines portray them as almost epic in form and they dominate most of the frame, between a realistic depiction of the objects and a rushed impression of them.
Sayid’s exhibition is an attractive visual experiment that incorporates an eclectic mix of paintings, from different time periods and of different objects and colour schemes, into one coherent set, unified by her bold and enjoyable style. We recommend checking out the exhibition, which will leave you pleasantly surprised and sufficiently interested in the artist’s unique style of painting.