A modern glass door opens to the shell-inspired design of the Tache Art gallery. Following their artistic and contemporary vision, long-time friends and gallery owners Taya Elzayadi and Cherine Badrawi, worked with Eklego interior design firm, to bring one of the most unique art galleries to Egypt.
The design of theTache Art gallery is themed as a shell with two colours only, white and dark grey, dominating the walls, ceiling and floors of the entire gallery. The white-coloured walls are themed as “a ribbon wrapped around the gallery,” as Elzayadi describes it, inviting audiences from the ground floor to the more spacious, second floor.
Inside the gallery the white walls, covered with the soon-to-be-exhibited art of Huda Lutfi, catch the eye throughout the ground floor, climbing up the also-white stairs, which replicates the American University in Cairo (AUC) old Greek campus platform model, functioning as both a staircase and a seating area for the upper floor.
Adding a contrast to this neutral theme is the bright-coloured, cushioned seating area on the platform. “We thought of the AUC model for the audience’s convenience whenever we have guest artists, talks and press conferences,” Elzayadi explains. The grey colour serves as the covering shell of the entire exhibit as an extension of the floor and ceiling. “We just thought of going very neutral to make the art work stand out; so that’s why we picked grey,” Badrawi adds.
Underneath the staircase sheltered inside their shell, sit business partners Elzayadi and Badrawi, monitoring the final touches before the grand opening of the gallery. “The transition from an art collector to a gallery owner was very difficult,” giggles Elzayadi.
It is hard for both partners to admit to this, as it seems that their greatest pleasure in life was visiting art galleries and auctions in Egypt and collecting art from masters to contemporary, whenever they travelled. “You cannot buy the art you exhibit at your own gallery!” she elaborates.
Both claim that getting together was the triggering point in both of their lives and transformed their long-held dream into realty. A year ago, Elzayadi and Badrawi signed with Designopolis and arranged with artists to exhibit their work at the gallery throughout 2011. They will feature the works of each artist for a month.
In love with Egyptian art and sculpture, both Elzayadi and Badrawi have let their passion take them to study art gallery management in London with Sotheby’s, the global auction house.
Interested in contemporary Egyptian art, both are determined to highlight modern art, especially young artists. “We want to give exposure to young artists,” says Badrawi highlighting the importance of the social media and networking as the best means to publicize events in the art world.
“Galleries in Egypt haven’t had that much competition so they probably haven’t felt the need to over-invest in art and artists; it is not the norm in Egypt,” says Badrawi.
Flyers and announcements planned by most galleries in Egypt have been enough for the local market. “But artists who have been abroad, either training or working, have been obsessed about catalogues to compile their work and the proper presentation from local galleries,” she elaborates.
“But we are not here to compete with other galleries; we want to collaborate with them,” Elzayadi maintains. In its blog, Tache Art reviews several galleries. Furthermore, Elzayadi confirms that they are dedicated to joining forces with other galleries to finance attendance at international art fairs. “We believe that exposure of the entire art scene in Egypt will be equally beneficial among galleries, artists and Egyptian culture,” she says.
Elzayadi believes that Egyptian art is being neglected by sharing her experience during one of her travels. She says: “In March 2010, I attended the Dubai Art Fair and found, to my surprise that very few Egyptian artists were exhibited. In fact, those who were there were being exhibited by galleries in Dubai,” she continues, “We want to be able to go to fairs and introduce our artists to the regional and international markets.”
Among its many other projects to reach that goal, Tache Art is having an “Art Trail”, in collaboration with the other tenants of Designopolis. “You get to spend the day at Designopolis and enjoy the public display of art in a trail across the entire complex,” Elzayadi explains. In addition, each Designopolis tenant will provide several workshops to help develop arts and cultural awareness in Egypt.
Tache Art is the third gallery to open at the complex, Designopolis, and will launch an exhibition of Huda Lutfi work entitled “Twenty Years of Art” starting Saturday 22 January 2011 until 19 February 2011.