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These Magnetic Illustrations Showcase the Diverse Talent of Young Egyptian Artists

September 12, 2020
Illustrations by Omar Gamal, Bassem Elish, Mostafa al-Agami (left to right).

Much like the world of art in its general sense, the world of illustration – which falls under the world of art – is in and of itself vast and diverse. 

An illustration is defined as a visual explanation or representation of an idea or concept. In its simplest form, it is a hand drawn image or visual. There is no specific way or medium for illustrations to be made, rather they can range from pencil or pen drawings and paintings or digital paintings to collage-work and even 3D modeling.

Illustrations can also fall under a variety of categories; one may draw illustrations for a book for example, however illustrations can also be found in fields such as architecture, fashion and even advertising. 

For the purpose of this photo essay, we will focus on illustrations that do not necessarily fall under a certain category, nor do they necessarily serve a specific purpose. Rather, the main purpose of this photo essay is to showcase the wide and diverse talents of Egypt’s young artists. 

What is special about this collection of illustrations is that each and every one of these pieces was hand-drawn by young, contemporary Egyptian artists. Each and every one of these pieces showcases a unique style and tells a different story. Each and every one of these pieces helps highlight the immense magnitude of fresh – and perhaps somewhat untapped – talent. 

Below are a few examples of the artistic capabilities of some of Egypt’s current illustrators; however in a larger sense, they are artists, as illustrations are but one of the many feats they are capable of producing. Keep in mind, however that there are many others like them all across the country… perhaps this group of talents will make it worth keeping an eye out both for them, as well as their colleagues. 

Akram William

Umm Kulthoum, part of a series of portraits of well-known icons for a project called ‘Immortals’.
A poster featuring Abdel Halim Hafez holding a Coca Cola bottle. Part of a series of posters for a project entitled ‘Tokyo Reborn’ in which Japanese and Arabic/Egyptian cultures are intertwined.

Farah Abbas

‘Illusory’. An illustration made as part of a larger project for Jordanian artist Faisal Tutunji and the release of his three new singles.
‘Gossip World’

Bassem Elish

‘Acceptance’. A piece inspired by Coptic art.
‘Seen’. Elish’s work mainly revolves around various self-portraits through which he showcases the many ways he may see himself.

Mostafa al-Agami

‘Kafka meets Samsa’
‘SpaceTimePeople (The 5th Dimension)’

Mariam el Reweny

‘Arouseit el Moulid (Carnival Doll)’

Omar Gamal

‘Heads or Tails’

Mahmoud Refaat Aboel-Fotouh

‘Eat, Ate, Eaten’ is part of unfinished exhibition with the theme ‘food’. The artwork shows an exchange relation between an octopus and a man eating each other… whatever you eat today, you can be its meal tomorrow.
‘War Gods’ is part of group exhibition with the theme ‘war’. The artwork shows the four gods of war (military – money – media – religion), they are the fuel that feed the war flames that consume people’s souls.

Salma Saleh

One of Saleh’s random illustrations, done during the pandemic.
An illustration that falls under a series of illustrations entitled ‘Middle Eastern Wizardry’.

Abdelrahman Mahfouz

An illustration inspired by the Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’.
A pencil drawing part of a series of drawings for Mahfouz’s graduation project entitled ‘Inferno, Purgatorio e Paradiso’.

Salma Hafez

Original artworks as seen after printing, available at Daad Geem Print Store.
‘Tune Troopers’ are character design sketches for an educational children’s TV show pitch.

Alia Wahby

‘Over the Moon’
‘Mermay 2017’

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