Riham Elsadany was born in 1978 in Cairo. She holds a BFA in Arts, an MFA and PhD from the Faculty of Art Education at Helwan University. She is also the founder and director of MUST Gallery at Misr University for Science & Technology Cairo, in 2007. In the same year she began her career working as an art professor at Misr University for Science and Technology and the American University in Cairo. Her solo exhibitions began from 2002 in Cairo and include The Scent of Egypt at Gallery Misr (2016-2017), a 2015 Show at YWCA, Cambridge, Boston MA., USA, LUST IN WONDERLAND at ArtTalks Gallery, Cairo (2015), FANTASMAGORIA at ArtTalks Gallery (2013), 2009 ECHO, at Gezera Art Center, Cairo (2009), SECRET at Philosophy Signature Gallery in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (2009), EXHALE at Gezera Art Center (2007) FAINTLY, The World of Art Gallery, Maadi, Cairo (2006) and LOSING CONNECTION, Extra Gallery, Zamalek, Cairo (2005). Beyond her exhibitions in Egypt, she has participated in group exhibitions in countries as diverse as Kuwait, Yemen, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Holland, Austria, Malta, and France. Her works in public collections and commissioned projects include 14 art works at Cairo International Airport and works on permanent display at Biblioth.eca Alexandrina, Alexandria, the Egyptian Academy in Rome, Italy, and the Egyptian Museum of Modern Art, Cairo. Her performance art includes live performance painting at The Sawy Culture Wheel, Zamalek, Word Hall in Cairo in 2004, the 2008 Salon d’Automne in Paris, France, and in Alkobar, Saudi Arabia in 2009.
Aly Said was born on the north side of the river Nile near the historical city of Rosetta in Egypt. He began his study at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria in 1997, graduating from the painting department in 2002 and earning his master’s degree in 2012. He has been an active participant in the Egyptian contemporary art movement since 2000. Since 2014 he is the director of the Fine Arts Museum in Alexandria, the oldest museum in the city for Egyptian modern art. Said takes part in many art events in Egypt and abroad. Since 1999 he has participated in more than 60 exhibitions in Cairo, Alexandria, and Port Said. Internationally his work has been shown in the exhibition of contemporary Egyptian art in Rome (2004), as well as in a traveling exhibition across Italy and at the Biennale BJCEM Euro-Mediterranean in Bari, Italy (2008). He has also taken part in many workshops, including with the Japanese artist Kyoko EPE on how to make and use handmade paper 2007. He was awarded first prize in painting at the Atelier Alexandria International Salon, second prize in painting at the 15th salon of Youth Cairo, and third prize in painting at the Exhibition of the Faculty of Fine Arts.
Born in Alexandria in 1977, Klay Mohamed Abdel Aziz Kassem graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria in 2000 and holds an MA (2008) and a Ph.D. (2013) in Art Studies. He is a member of the Fine Arts Syndicate in Alexandria and currently lectures at the city’s Faculty of Fine Arts. His paintings have been featured in over 48 national exhibitions in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, and Port Said, and he has participated in over six international exhibitions in Muscat, India, Paris, Alexandria, Luxor, and Sharm El Sheikh. Kassem has held several solo exhibitions in Cairo and Alexandria, including shows at the Mahmoud Said Museum, the Gezira Arts Centre, and El Tazauk Palace. He is the recipient of eight national art awards, including first prize at the Nagy Salon in 1999 and the Grand Prize in painting at the Port Said Biennale in 2011. His paintings are part of permanent collections at the Museum of Fine Arts in Helwan, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Luxor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Culture in Cairo.
Walid Ebeid was born in 1970 in Cairo. He began to establish his form of realistic expressionism from the time he was six years old. The main theme of his paintings gives one the impression that there is always a mystic message behind the realistic visuals recreated with his own vision. He holds a Fine Arts bachelor’s degree and masters a distinguished level in oil painting from the day-to-day spirit of his country’s culture and societal insights. Walid Ebeid’s work has been extensively exhibited in Egypt since 1992 in a wide number of galleries.
Yasser Abd Elhay Mourad Rostom, more commonly known artistically as Rostom, is a Cairo-based sculptor, painter, furniture designer, and art director. Following his education at the Cairo Faculty of Art, he worked as an art director’s assistant in Egyptian television and in TV commercials. For his master’s degree, he studied sculpture, focusing on the line figure drawings of the tomb of Tuthmosis III in modern sculpture designs at Helwan University. He followed this with a master’s degree in painting. His work has been exhibited in Cairo at numerous galleries as well as at his own private showroom Rostom Elements in Cairo’s Maadi district. Outside Egypt, his work has been exhibited extensively in Amsterdam, Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Paris, London, and Saudi Arabia. His diverse body of work is also held in private collections across the Middle East, and Europe.
Born in Beheira in 1984, Hady Boraey lives and works in Alexandria, Egypt. He received a BFA (2005) and MFA (2011) and has recently earned his Ph.D. (2015) from the Faculty of Fine Arts, the University of Alexandria. Boraey’s distinctive painting technique, is characterized by his rich palette, most notably, brightly colored figures set against bold red or decorative backgrounds. His elongated, brightly adorned figures often stand in profile, reminiscent of ancient Egyptian art compositions. Despite drawing heavily from his cultural milieu, Boraey’s paintings are laden with symbolic gestures that convey poetic, imaginary worlds that defy temporal and geographical boundaries. Boraey has participated in over forty group exhibitions in Egypt, Italy, the UK, Switzerland, and the UAE. He received the medal of appreciation from the Bibliotheca Alexandria and various awards from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria.
Guirguis Lotfy is best known for his elaborative ancient painting techniques that were deployed between the 1st and 4th Centuries, namely, the use of egg tempera. His artistic process attests to his commitment to honoring Egypt’s historic cultural past, at the same time considering evolutionary painting techniques. His colorful paintings depict contemporary Egyptian life, often of local characters or iconic figures taking part in ceremonial events or simple playground and park scenes. The intimate scenes of family and community life when combined with his technique reflect Egypt’s rich artistic and diverse history. The artist is quoted as saying, ‘I am greatly influenced by the ancient Coptic art, which was always depicting light coming from people. They are stunted from stress and life’s hardships but they are content with the little they have and just go on.’ Lotfy received his BFA in 1980 from Alexandria University, and later pursued an MFA (1986) and a Ph.D. (1991) focused on Coptic Art and Its Effect on Modern Art from Helwan University, Cairo. He lives and works in Alexandria.
Aly Sirry is a self-taught artist who works in diverse media including, pottery, paper-making, metal and wood, ink, and acrylic. His first solo show Calm Chaos(2017) held at Art Talks, Cairo, invited a reflection on the chaos, political ruptures, and turmoil of his Cairo surroundings which were brought into order through the artist’s minimalist brushstrokes and monochromatic that comprise his ink-on-paper drawings. Detailed and meticulous in their execution, Sirry’s compositions invite the viewer to pay close attention to his methodical approach, offering momentarily escape from the distractions and disruptions of the outside world. Speaking of his work, Sirry states: ‘My work seeks to divert observers from the dissonant and invasive ambient noise towards a zone of tranquil reflection’. Similarly, Sirry’s artistic career could be read as a personal, meditative escape from his full-time career as an Egyptian diplomat in Cairo
One of Egypt’s foremost contemporary artists, Hossam Dirar works across painting, video, sound, and installation art. Born in Cairo in 1978, Dirar graduated from the faculty of Applied Arts, at Helwan University, and later went on to participate in art, photography, and graphic workshops. Interested in the intersection between calligraphy and artistic practices, he went on to pursue a career in graphic design for a multinational advertising agency in Egypt, after which he set up his own studio specializing in graphic artworks on canvas – an approach that continues to influence his work. His bold colors and graphic design techniques result in layered, colorful canvases that seek to question inherited socio-cultural norms – namely, gender roles, cultural identity, and more recently, producing prints that capture scenes of the Egyptian revolution. Speaking of his work, Dirar states: ‘through my artwork, I try to bring to life the beauty of old times, the depth of memorable images in a modern unique vision’. The artist has participated in multiple groups and solo shows across the Arab world, Europe and North America. He lives and works in Barcelona.
Aly Sirry is a self-taught artist who works in diverse media including, pottery, paper-making, metal and wood, ink and acrylic.