guirguis lotfy - renee

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In Renée, Guirguis honours his muse and lifetime companion. And when Guirguis is with Renée, nothing else matters. It is not far fetched to draw the analogy that Guirguis Lotfy is to Egyptian visual arts what Salah Jahin (1930-1986) is to Egyptian poetry. Both celebrate Egypt's cultural fabric while not shying away from its shortcomings. Tirelessly, Lotfy depicts our feasts, celebrations, rituals and traditions - some still practiced today, others long forgotten. Pharaonic, Islamic or Coptic, his stunning canvases offer a personal take on these little moments of bonding and shared history or on some trivial and mundane scenes with ordinary people. Describing his artistic process as literally looking out his window and painting what he sees, Lotfy shows an indefatigable commitment to his muse and attempts to bring forth both her beauty and contradictions. As he captures the essence of our Egyptian-ness, he reminds us that neither religion nor ideology can tear us apart.

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  • Opening ReceptiOn 12 April 2016

    6 to 9 pm

    exhibitiOn 12 April - 3 May 2016

  • ArtTalks is proud to present Rene, the third solo exhibition by Guirguis Lotfy at the gal-lery. In Rene, Guirguis honors his muse and lifetime companion. And when Guirguis is with Rene, nothing else matters.

    It is not far fetched to draw the analogy that Guirguis Lotfy is to Egyptian visual arts what Salah Jahin (1930-1986) is to Egyp-tian poetry. Both celebrate Egypts cultural fabric while not shying away from its short-comings. Tirelessly, Lotfy depicts our feasts, celebrations, rituals and traditions - some still practiced today, others long forgotten. Pharaonic, Islamic or Coptic, his stunning canvases offer a personal take on these lit-tle moments of bonding and shared history or on some trivial and mundane scenes with ordinary people.

    Describing his artistic process as literally looking out his window and painting what he sees, Lotfy shows an indefatigable com-mitment to his muse and attempts to bring forth both her beauty and contradictions. As he captures the essence of our Egyp-tian-ness, he reminds us that neither reli-gion nor ideology can tear us apart. Dont let yourself be fooled by the apparent sim-plicity and naivety of his crowded paintings! Guirguis Lotfy seeks to resuscitate an elab-orate ancient Egyptian painting technique practiced two millennia ago in religious iconography and the famed Fayoum Por-traits. By using bee wax or tempera colors dissolved in egg yolk with some gold leaf, Lotfy ensures the transmission of Coptic art - an identity, rather than a religion.

    By Fatenn Mostafa

    Together, Guirguis and Rene bring the past into today to provide answers for a better tomorrow. And like a storyteller, every de-tail is recollected, nostalgically pinching us in the heart as we feel the innocence and familiarity of those moments. Lovers, hus-bands, wives, children, carriages, donkeys, the fresca man, the porter, the fortune teller, the musician, the caf, watermelons, Rama-dan and Alexandria, all reveal the light that comes from people, much like saints were once portrayed in ancient paintings. All look up in the sky towards infinity, like a calm prayer and give us a cherished snapshot of the world we live in; of the country we are so attached to and of the people we belong to. For Lotfy, Rene is Egypt. She is one and many. She is yesterday, today and tomorrow. She is his most haunting and conditional muse and he intends on making them both eternal.

    Born in 1955, Guirguis Lotfy lives and works in Alexandria, Egypt. After receiving a BFA from Alexandria Faculty of Fine Arts in 1980, Lotfy went on to pursue his MFA on Cop-tic painting from the 4th to the 8th Century in 1990 and his PhD on Coptic Art and its influence on Modern Art in 1994 from the Cairo Faculty of Fine Arts. Hamed Owais (1919-2011) and Hamed Nada (1924-1990), two of Egypts modern pioneer artists, were closely involved at different stages in the supervision of Guirguis Lotfys masters and doctorate degrees respectively.

    I thank my God that I was born in the land of Mystery,

    That I have grown in the shade of Palm-trees...

    That I have lived in the arms of the Desert,

    Great Keeper of Secrets...

    That I have drunk deep of age-old Nile.

    Egyptian author Doria Shafik (1908-1975)

  • Born 1955

    Works and lives in Alexandria, Egypt

    E D U C AT I O N

    1980 B.Sc. Fine arts, Alexandria university

    1986 Diploma in fine arts, Helwan university Cairo

    1986 Masters degree philosophy of arts, Helwan university

    1991 PhD, Philosophy of arts, Helwan University

    S E L E C T E D E X H I B I T I O N S

    2014 ArtTalks | Egypt. Love Affair.

    2013 ArtTalks | Egypt. Heya Di Masr Ya Abla.

    2004 French Cultural Center, Alexandria, Les Mmoires de Guirguis

    2002 Alexandria Center of Art , Dala fa wagad

    2001 Cairo Atelier The Storm

    1999 The Museum of Fine Arts, Cairo, The Storm

    1998 The Spanish Cultural Center

    1997 Hanager, Zamalek Art Center, El Mouled

    1996 Meniat al Nasr The Wooden Horse

    1992 The Faculty of Fine Arts, Zamalek, Cairo.

    1991 Kandil Hall

    1989 St Marc Horreya

    1989 Faculty of Fine Arts, Zamalek, Cairo.

    B I O

    Guirguis Lotfys Portrait by modern painter Mostafa Kamel (1917-1982)

  • Abayan Zein / Fortune Teller

    2015

    Tempera, natural oxides, gold leaf on treated wood 120 x 80 cm

    Fi Intizar Madfa3 el Iftar/ Waiting for the Fast Break

    2015

    Oil, gold leaf on canvas120 x 70 cm

  • Farah fi Shar3a / Wedding in the Street

    2015

    Tempera, natural oxides, gold leaf on treated wood 152 x 152 cm

  • Om w Tefl / Mother and Child

    2015

    Oil, gold leaf on canvas70 x 50 cm

    Om w Atfal / Mother and Children

    2015

    Oil, gold leaf on canvas70 x 50 cm

  • El Saif / Summertime

    2015

    Tempera, natural oxides, gold leaf on treated wood 152 x 152 cm

  • El Leil Lama Khely / When The Night Ends

    2015

    Tempera, natural oxides, gold leaf on canvas 120 x 68 cm

    El La Nehaya / Infinity

    2015

    Tempera, natural oxides, gold leaf on canvas 120 x 68 cm

  • Mazad el Batikh / Watermelon Bid

    2015

    Tempera, natural oxides, gold leaf on treated wood 121 x 121 cm

  • El Soubou3 / The Kabsa Legend

    2015

    Oil, gold leaf on canvas118 x 67 cm

    Hadikat el Hayawan / The Zoo

    2015

    Tempera, natural oxides, gold leaf on treated wood 190 x 80 cm

  • El Mouled

    2015Tempera, natural oxides, gold leaf on treated wood

    120 x 240 cm

  • Fakk el Sahr / To End the Spell

    2015

    Tempera, natural oxides, gold leaf on treated wood 63 x 56 cm

    El Bawwab / The Porter

    2015

    Tempera, natural oxides, gold leaf on treated wood 63 x 56 cm

  • PrintingConcorde Press

    CoordinatorCherine ChafikLisa LounisAynour ZeitounSuzan Rashed

    Graphic Concept& RealizationOmar Mobarek

    TextsFatenn Mostafa

    PhotographsLisa LounisPaul Lotfi

    Catalogue Publishedon the occasion of the showGuirguis LotfyRene 12 April - 3 May 2016ArtTalks | Egypt

    8 El Kamel Mohamed Street,Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt

    +20227363948 info@arttalks.com www.arttalks.com