By: Nada Mawsouf
Having been to many galleries, exhibitions and art-related events, I have always found pleasure in seeing diverse pieces of art. One day my friend Amir Mohamed shared photos on his Instagram story displaying portrays done by students from Fine Arts, University of Helwan.
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I then found out about a page they created on Facebook, Humans of Fine Arts, and the next thing I know I found myself contacting its admins and telling them that I want to know what the students have in store.
On a Saturday morning, I headed to Zamalek to explore the hub of uprising artists. I met up with the three brains behind Humans of Fine Arts, who helped me find art in the corners around the entire place showing me a slew of pieces done by undergraduates.
Honestly, picking a favorite was a tough job. However, out of the many pieces I saw, four stood out! I asked them to help me out and reach the four artists to ask them about their work, their idols, and whether they have a specific message they'd like to deliver through what they do.
Osama Abu El Gheit
"I used watercolors on a piece of A4-sized paper. It took me around 5 hours to finish. My professor, Dr. Murad Darweesh suggested me to people he knew who needed someone to do this piece for a magazine," said Abu El Gheit, 21, an interior design student. "They used it as a cover for their issue about ‘Syrian Refugees’, it was actually inspired by a real photo. I have to mention that Dr. Taher Abdelazim helped me out and gave me tips along the way, as I drew this painting at his atelier."
Abu El Gheit then clarified that "The art scene in Egypt is quite closed. For example, if I am to hold an exhibition, people who will attend are either my friends or colleagues; who already know my work. Exhibitors should be able to publicize for the exhibitions and expand beyond their universities.
Unfortunately, we do not have enough chances to show our work to other people outside our small community. We do not get enough support as artists.”
Gamil, 20, is a painting student who's a bif fan of Van Gogh’s work, thanks to the Dutch artist’s shading technique.
“This piece is called Marie Antoinette. It’s size 50x70, and I used oil. It took me around 2.5 days to finish it. It was done for an exam," said Gamil.
“This piece was done using ink on paper, and it took me almost 3 hours to finish it. It’s a different style of hatching. The painting wasn’t done for a specific purpose. I love celebrities, especially Morgan Freeman, as his features are not so clear but they are so powerful. My aim was to get people to realize who is in my painting before reading the name,” said Mounir, 21.
The painting student went on to explain that he looks up to the work by Colin Davidson “He uses oil, and I love his portraits. I generally love portraits more than the landscape or still-life pieces, because a portrait is full of emotions.
A clever artist knows how to display emotions through a portrait. Colin not only does that, he also produces large-sized portraits. The way he uses his brush, and mixes everything with the background is beautiful.”
Mounir also has a profound understanding of how tough it can be for aspiring artists “To anyone who likes painting, do not be afraid. It is a hard goal, yet some easy steps must be taken. We, as artists, do not work for someone, or for something in specific, we work because we love art.
I sacrifice a lot of things and give art my all. I do not care about how people see me, or what I ‘should’ be doing for a living. All I care about is to show people my work, and make them feel something when they look at the portraits. If you love painting, learn and don’t stop.”
“The model’s name is Soha. I used mud, and it took me three weeks to finish it. It was a project for college. This was the first portray I work on with so much determination and it ended up being one of my favorite pieces,” said Zarea, 20, about her masterpiece.
“I do not have one artist in particular that I look up to, but I feel that everyone can be good at something, and that everyone can benefit me in a specific way.
In college, I look up to Dr. Mohamed Abbas. In general, I look up to Michael Angelo. His work is fascinating, because he portrays real things using marble and hard materials. I admire Henry Moore’s simplicity as well.”
This is a message from me to all you talent-hunters out there, Fine Arts is full of young artists waiting to be discovered. This is just a small sample of what these guys are capable of.
Feature image: Twins Photography