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Art Pros

Elhamy calls himself a graphic artist but he could just as well be described as a people’s artist. His main concern is to get the beauty and appreciation of good art across to as wide an audience as he can reach. He consider it to be a ”very serious responsibility of the artist to be a recorder of his or her time”. Elhamy was born and has live in Cairo all his life. He graduated from the College of Fine Arts of Cairo in 1967 and undertook post-graduate studies in Islamic art and architecture at the American university in Cairo. His work has been shown in many exhibitions, including four one man shows, and his designs and paintings have been sold worldwide. He is in love with his Egyptian heritage and would like to pass that love and pride on to his fellow countrymen. His aims are to enlighten and to educate or at least elevate the taste of as many Egyptian as he can.

His inspirations come from the faces and disappearing customs of Egypt as well as Egypt’s architectural heritage.

Elhamy sees a large demand for art in Egypt but, unhappily he says, “An awareness of quality and good taste is greatly missing. While there is a lot of good art being produced in Egypt now, there is a lack of good publicity for artists, and their work is usually too expensive for most people to afford. “Elhamy would like to somehow bridge the gap between the expensive art and the common people who he feels, deserve to be surrounded by beautiful work. At one time he approached a number of artists to try and convince them of the feasibility of creating mass produced prints of their work. His theory was that a hundred prints at a low price will reach a lot more people and, he states, “Will also provide sales for the artist who might have a beautiful LE 1500 painting that isn’t selling. “ Basically says Elhamy, “It’s a win-win situation. ‘ This of course is a concept that is very big in western societies; malls and museums are loaded with print and poster shops filled with copies of masterpieces and other types of art. The problem for artists is that their minds are generally so focused on their creative work that cannot easily operate on the business aspect. This is a struggle Elhamy describes as “switching back and forth between the left and right brain in order to be an artist and run a business at the same time. In Egypt the artists are, in general, waiting for a publisher to come and do all of this for them, and yet no publisher will appear on the scene until the process has already started and is seen to be a viable idea. “He believes it is up to the artists to get the ball rolling; ”And so for it hasn’t rolled much. “ Although he has been able to convince a few artists to do prints of their works, the problem of marketing still exists.

 For many artists, their highest achievement would be to have their work placed in a museum. Elhamy’s goals are a little different, he would like his work to be in people’s homes. He keeps a mass audience in mind when working. He explains that, for this reason, his work has to be” More intimate, uplifting and appealing than some of the more idealistic works that would only fit in a museum’. Most do not know how representative of a mass audience they are. Many have been drawn to Elhamy’s work for it reflects a certain joie de vivre and feeling that it compels one to have something of his handing around to lighten up the environment. Some would argue, perhaps justifiably, that the integrity of art and compromised in order to appeal to the masses. Elhamy agrees, and adds that he does like “to push people a bit” whenever he can. By pushing people, he means that he likes to convince the observer indirectly to push past normal, conventional imagery. He demonstrates this by pointing out a piece in his gallery. The painting is of a green hued woman dancing through the air above an Islamic style building. Her feet and hands are cut off by the borders of the picture. Elhamy explained that this painting was going to be one of a set of four pictures depicting the four seasons, to be used on a calendar. In this particular painting he let his self will as

Creativity and design for kids. Parents rejoice!

The brainchild of Elhamy Naguib – Graffiti, a magic-land of children’s toys and colorful figures, is a source of enchantment
to anyone who visits it, child or adult. While Obelisque was there, two toddlers arrived and immediately began playing with
the little percussion instruments, and riding the paper-maché animals. Their squeals of delight were evidence that Graffiti had
captured their imagination with its whimsical figures and colorful toys.
This is not a conventional ‘don’t touch’ kids’ toy-shop, but a world created to delight and stimulate children. Elhamy
Naguib has been nurturing the creative instincts of his young audiences for years via his weekly TV programs conducted from
a make-shift studio in his home. His popular shows challenge the inventive ability of his young viewers, and the children
participating. There is nothing formal or conventional about his ‘educational’ methods. These are not ‘classes’, but discovery
sessions where young people learn by doing.
Elhamy Naguib has a wide and varied list of achievement using graphic art and design. These include many exhibitions,
both here and overseas, of his unusual paintings and murals depicting the life and folklore of Egypt. Egypt’s heritage is one of
his main loves. His portfolios teem with subjects as varied as Folk Costumes of Egypt, Disappearing Faces of Cairo, Simple
Joys, The ages of Man and many more. All attest to his wide knowledge and interpretive skills of his own culture. He also
produced art work for nation-wide campaigns regarding the environment, enhanced public awareness of air quality and the
appearance of public spaces.