The Art Corner Gallery in Zamalek is giving artists the opportunity to express their experiences during the 25 January Revolution. One artist had a premonition before the revolution of Mubarak’s demise and another quickly jots his stark impressions while detained by police, like so many were during the revolution.
One of the main artists, Yasser Rostom, has a large, stunning, yet simple piece: white doves attacked by red-eyed ravens. A pool of red stains the dove’s plain white landscape. The symbolism is obvious; the blamelessness of the doves, touching; and the composition overall is appealing, including the frame that was specially tinted with shades from red to black for this painting. Rostom has a strong sense of pharaonic strength in his paintings and his affinity with surrealists such as Dali is apparent..
Yasser Rostom told Ahram Online that “on the second or third day [of the revolution] the National Children’s hospital was attacked - it was very sad to hear.” He said that he will make donations to the heart hospital in Aswan and the new cancer hospital in 6th of October City.
“After seeing the state of the hospitals,” said one of the owners, George El Sanady, as he showed me another of Rostom’s pieces “he wanted to help them.” The artist has decided that part of the proceeds from any of four particular paintings will go to the hospitals.
Other artists include Fathy Ali, Reda Khalil, Waleed el Deeb, Judge Abdel Tawab Salem and Frenchman, Paul Beanti, who was accused of being a Russian spy during the xenophobic moments of the revolution. He was detained and hammered out in black ink the stark rooms upon rooms of people, blindfolded, beaten and bruised.
Abdel Tawab Salem focuses on the euphoric moments that coloured his day: concentrated blues, blacks and oranges are the background for his memories of the many nameless Egyptians who held their ground and brandished the Egyptian flag of victory.
The opening of the exhibition was held on 2 March, and was visited by 90-100 people that night. The artists, inspired no doubt by the many developments in Egypt, will add new pieces on 22 or 23 March.
Art Corner Gallery – 12 Sayed el Bakry Street (off of Brazil Street) Zamalek
10 am - 9 pm daily. (Closed Sundays)