Impressions of Egypt 2002

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Impressions of Egypt 2002

Elhamy Naguib
Influenced by the work of Chagall, Miro, Klee, and richly illustrated Islamic manuscripts, Elhamy Naguib’s own highly individual style combines mathematical precision with a childlike spontaneity. An extremely talented and prolific artist, Elhamy studies his craft extensively in Egypt and the US and claims that “ some artists fall under the spell of certain themes, ideas or interpretations as L have. I am fascinated by the power in life, and I want to share it through my work. Elhamy has held many international sols and group exhibits and his acquisitions can be found in private collections throughout the world. He has designed and illustrated activity books on Egyptian culture, air pollution, water conservation and the anecdotes of Goha. He also designs sculptures and a series of movable and educational toys, and has designed an executed 11 large murals by 7-12 year old children. He also hosts a weekly TV program teaching art and creative thinking to children. Elhamy introduced the art calendar into Egypt in 1977 and is currently the Public Awareness Manager at the Cairo Air Improvement Project.

الاهرام 2003

تكريم بيكار في الجامعة الامريكية

في الاحتفالية التي اقيمت بالجامعة الامريكية لتكريم الفنان الراحل حسين بيكار؛ و ذلك باقامة معرض لآعماله و ندوة تحدث فيها الفنان مصطفي حسين نقيب الفنانين التشكليين و الكاتب الكبير مفيد فوزي الذي عرض حواره التليفزيوني في قاعة الندوة و الفنان مكرم حنين الذي قام بتحليل الاعمال من خلال عرض بالشرائح الملونة ثم القي الفنان ابراهيم عبد الملاك كلمة موجزة كما قام الفنان الهامي نجيب بالقاء كلمته باللغة الانجيلزية بعد ذلك قامت الاستاذة نجوي شعيب مديرة العلاقات العامة بالجامعة الامريكية بتقديم درع تذكارية للسيدة قاسمة حرم الفنان الراحل حسين بيكار التي تسلمت درع درع التكريم بينما أنسابت دموعها علي زوجها الراحلو من المدهش حقا أن يقتصر الاحنفال ببيكار علي الجمعية المصرية لنقاد الفن التشكيلي و الجامعة الامريكية بينما تقاعست الكليات الفنية و علي راسها الفنون الجميلة التي خدم فيها اليس ذلك أمرا عجيبا؟ و كان فيلم بيكار الذي كتب مادته العلمية الناقد الكبير مختار العطار مفاجاة لم تكن في الحسبان

Elhamy Naguib is a man with a mission : to rid the Egyptian drawing room of the heaving-gilded , ornate “ Louis Farouk” furniture  that  often makes the interior of a smell flat look more like an overcrowded, miniature throne  room. Appropriate design, practical but beautiful, interpretative but not imitative, and the cultivation of the taste that appreciates it is what Naguib is all about. “I’ve got nothing really against Louis Farouk per se. In its time it was a good design, but you can’t the furniture of an old palace and put it in a small flat !” So why is it still the standard fare with which newlywed furnish their increasingly by small apartments? In Naguib’s view, people are intimidated by tradition and end up buying from imitators- “the worst pitfall,” he says. Ironically, there is nothing traditionally Egyptian about Louis Farouk. It only became fashionable during the wholesale Europeanization of upper-class Egyptian taste in the 19th century. ‘I think people are afraid of having their own design ideas, and they think that nothing better [ than Louis Farouk] is available. Working from his Maadi office and gallery, Graffiti Cairo, Naguib took time off from the commercial graphic design that from the bulk of his business to create the “Modern Baladi” line of furniture. The style is modern in the sense that it is designed with the contemporary living space in mind, and baladi because Naguib draws on the best of indigenous to give his furniture identity. Take his mastaba for example: a low, bench-like couch that can act both as living room seating and an extra bed while taking up minimal space. After encouraging words from friends and visitor, Naguib set about creating a prototype for a completely integrated set of furniture that newlyweds could afford. Having the furniture made to his own standard proved easier than had expected. “ I was amazed to find craftsmen in the Basateen area of Cairo who didn’t look at me as if I were crazy. Quite the reverse, in fact. They still do quite a lot of work in the traditional way, mainly restoring mosques and palaces, and they responded to my new “old design” in a really positive way. Convincing Egyptian of the virtue of his new style is harder. Foreigners still buy most of the paintings, graphic art, tapestries and ceramics that line Naguib’s gallery. Naguib notes that his fellow countrymen lack the confidence to buy objects that are neither totally reliant on the past nor obviously foreign and imported. He sees this as partly the effect an identity crisis. Recalling a time when he was doing sketches and paintings of mosques, Naguib mentions his disappointment at the comments of passers by.” What are you doing that for?” was a common cry. “if people realize that they are surrounded by some of the most beautiful building in the world, then they might begin to have pride and interest in what is authentically their, “he says. Until that time, the gilded throne industry will continue to thrive. But be warned, Louis Farouk, someone is on your trail.