WAEL DARWESH

Born in Cairo in 1975, lives and works in Cairo, Egypt

In the past few years ….I have been much concerned with the changing perceptions and the state of continuous social metamorphosis that Egypt, as an African, Arab and Middle East country that was colonized and liberated, has witnessed in the last three decades.
In my mixed media projects,…. I try to probe several phenomenon that constitute for me some permanent obsessions, like subjugation, liberty, constraints of time, its relevance to the subject matter employed, elements of migration, gender, identity, among other themes that attract several Egyptian artists of my generation.I am a painter, video and installation artist. In my painting I am obsessed by the human movement and their quest for freedom, while in my mixed media works and installation, I apply assemblages to create sculptural states that transcend simple two-dimensional art forms; through the studied and experimental use of collage I combine color, calligraphy, textile, and various textural media to explore issues of gender, independence, freedom, space and passage of time.

my painting projects in the past few years were inspired by American Color Field painting and French Lyrical Abstraction, where large “fields” of flat solid color colonize harmoniously large areas of the canvas to create a homogenous surface of flat picture plane, stressing on the overall consistency of form over the brush movement and brushstrokes. Contrary to standard Color Field and Lyrical Abstraction and i have successfully combined abstraction styles and painterly techniques with elements of figuration and cognitive representation.In my 2010 works, I’m uses my cumulative experience as a painter as well as an interdisciplinary artist to create canvases that uses photography as a base for his brush, eliminating along the way backgrounds. In my process, creates, and narrates, an alternative reality for the figures that filled the planes of the initial photograph. The streets of Cairo act as a location much representative of contemporary Middle Eastern urban cities; ordinary citizens dwell the streets and alleys alongside soldiers and traffic policemen.

Every photographed or painted individual play a different role while interacting with each other in a universe that is almost hyper real. my attempts to extend the limits of standard painting, and expands the battery of symbols proposed by this medium by accumulating what photography can add to the canvas: frozen reality, depth of field, and more visual symbols that Jean Baudrillard proposed – in my seminal work on simulation and simulacra as defining our contemporary over-industrialized societies today.  

EXHIBITIONS

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

  • 2016 “Time Intermezzo”, Zamalek Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2015 “The Prank”, ARTSAWA, Dubai, UAE
  • 2014 “Disappearance… Continued”, ARTSAWA, Dubai, UAE
  • 2012 Safarkhan Gallery, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2012 Egyptian Embassy, Zagreb, Croatia
  • 2012 Egyptian Embassy, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 2012 “Witness”, ARTSAWA, Dubai, UAE
  • 2011 Gallery-Museum Lendava, Slovenia
  • 2010 “Shrouded Memories”, ARTSAWA, Dubai, UAE
  • 2009 Cairo Atelier, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2008 El Gezera Art Center, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2003-2006-2007 Cairo Atelier, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2002 Center of Arts, Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

  • 2015 Galleries Night, ARTSAWA, Dubai, UAE
  • 2015 ”1st Narrative Movements”, The Jehan Hotel, New Delhi, India
  • 2015 “1st Moscow Art Fair” - A Dialogue Through the Language of Art-Gallery Kremlin, Moscow, Russia
  • 2014 CARAVAN 3, Cairo Opera House, Egypt & National Cathedral in Washington D.C, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
  • 2014 Art 14, Booth E10, Kensington Olympia, London, UK
  • 2013 Abu Dhabi Art Fair, ARTSAWA Booth, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 2013 “Modern & Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art, Part II”, Christie’s, Dubai, UAE
  • 2013 SYRI -ARTS EXHIBITION & AUCTION, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, Lebanon
  • 2013 the 55th Venice biennale, Maldivian Pavilion, Venice, Italy
  • 2013 Art 13, Booth E10, Kensington Olympia, London, UK
  • 2012 Abu Dhabi Art Fair, ARTSAWA Booth, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 2012 “Modern & Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art, Part II”, Christie’s, Dubai, UAE
  • 2011 10th International Fine Arts Colony, Monošter / Szentgotthárd, Hungary
  • 2011 Beirut (MENASA) Art Fair, Beirut International Exhibition-Leisure Center, Biel, Lebanon
  • 2011 Çankiri Karatekin University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Summer Academy, Ankara, Turkey
  • 2011 Abu Dhabi Art Fair, ARTSAWA Booth, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 2010 Commissaries of the Egyptian Section, 3rd Biennale of Art Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
  • 2010 Abu Dhabi Art Fair, ARTSAWA Booth, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 2010 Arab Cultural week, Johannesburg – Eritrea – South Africa
  • 2010 15th Lind Art, International Young Artists Fine Arts Colony, Gallery-Museum Lendava, Slovenia
  • 2010 “Black and white”, El Gezera Art Center, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2010 “Land of the Hyperreal”, Memorial Jose, Revolution Square, Havana, Cuba
  • 2009 Abu Dhabi Art Fair, ARTSAWA Booth, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 2009 Bonjour la France Art Fair, Abu Dhabi-United Arab Emirates
  • 2009 Dark Light Film Festival, Dublin, Ireland.
  • 2009 Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (DEAF), Ireland
  • 2009 “Undercurrent: Contemporary Egyptian Art”, ARTSAWA, Dubai, UAE
  • 2009 “Agenda”, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt
  • 2009 Al Markayah Art Gallery, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 2008 Cairo international Biennial 11- Opera House, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2008 “Creative Expressions”, ARTSSAWA, Dubai, UAE
  • 2008 Art Paris- Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 2008 “Inaugural Exhibition”, ARTSAWA, Dubai
  • 2008 Örebro International Video Art Festival, Sweden
  • 2008 “Secrets project”, Darat Al Funun, Amman, Jordan
  • 2008 Responses: Sherif Awad, Contemporary Practices Magazine, Art Dubai, Duba, UAE
  • 2008 “From Athens to Marseille to Cairo”, Marseille, France
  • 2007 “What is Happening Today”, Cairo Opera House, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2007 “The days of the Egyptian Culture in India” New Delhi, India
  • 2007 “The Present out of the Past Millennia”, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany
  • 2006 The 1st International Web Exhibition. www.ecartists.com
  • 2005 “Contemporary Egyptian Paintings”, Egyptian Academy in Rome, Italy.
  • 2005 “Imagining the Book I”, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt.
  • 2007 “Imagining the Book II”, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt
  • 2005 “Art and Soul”, Cairo Opera House Gallery, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2002 6th International Ceramics Biennial, Cairo Opera House & Palace of Arts, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2002 “Arab Visual Artists’ Exhibition”, Taha Hussein Museum, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2001 “Arab Visual Artists’ Exhibition”, Taha Hussein Museum, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2000 5th International Ceramics Biennial, Cairo Opera House & Akhenaton Galleries, Cairo, Egypt
  • 1998-2003 Annual Salons of Miniatures, Akhenaton Galleries, Cairo, Egypt
  • 1998-2004 Annual Salons of Young Artists, Akhenaton Galleries, Cairo, Egypt

PRIZES

  • 2010 1st prize, 15th Lind Art, International Young Artists Fine Arts Colony, Gallery-Museum Lendava, Slovenia
  • 2003 Grand prize, 13th Salon of Young Artists, Cairo Opera House, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2002 5th International Ceramics Biennial, Cairo Opera House & Akhenaton Galleries, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2000 Jury Prize, the All-Egyptian Artists Exhibition, Cairo Opera House, Cairo, Egypt
  • 1999 Jury Prize, 11th Salon of Young Artists, Cairo Opera House, Cairo, Egypt
  • 1998 1st prize, 10th Salon of Young Artists, Cairo Opera House, Cairo, Egypt

ART RESIDENCIES

  • 2016 2ND Narrative Mobements, The Justa Hotel, Bombay, India
  • 2016 2nd “Machanents International Symposium”, Ejmiatsin, Armenia
  • 2015 1st Narrative Movements, The Jehan Hotel, New Delhi, India
  • 2015 1st Moscow Art Fair, “A Dialogue Through the Language of Art”, Gallery Kremlin, Moscow
  • 2015 2nd International Thessaloniki Art Fair, Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 2012 3rd International Fine Arts Residence, “The Old School”, Gorna Lipnitsa, Pavlikeni, Bulgaria
  • 2011 10th International Fine Arts Colony, Monošter / Szentgotthárd, Hungary
  • 2011 Çankiri Karatekin University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Summer Academy, Ankara, Turkey
  • 2010 15th Lind Art, International Young Artists Fine Arts Colony, Gallery-Museum Lendava, Slovenia

ACQUISITIONS

  • Danish Embassy in Cair
  • Egyptian Museum of Modern Art
  • 15th May Museum
  • Alexandria Library
  • New Cairo Airport
  • Gallery – Museum Lendava, Slovenia
  • Çankiri Karatekin University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Ankara, Turkey

EDUCATION

  • 2014 PhD, Assistant Professor, Painting and Drawing Department, Faculty of Fine Education, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2008 PhD, Contemporary Painting Philosophy, Faculty of Art Education, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2003 MFA, Painting and drawing department, Faculty of art Education, Helwan University
  • 1998 BA, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt