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Hussein Bicar: The Man who Mastered Several Arts

May 9, 2022

A writer of stories and iconic poems, a painter of visuals and comics, a master of sonics and tunes: Hussein Bicar’s sole mission was to create and conjure. Here was an Egyptian artist who truly articulated what the soul sought, whatever the medium. In the words of the late journalist Mustafa Amin, “he is not a single artist, he is a master of several arts. He is a painter, a photographer, a poet, a musician, and a philosopher.” Born in Alexandria, Bicar was a child prodigy. From the ripe age of eight years old, he learned to play the lute, and by nine, started giving lute lessons to women in Alexandria whose culture did not permit casual engagement with adult men. Music was Bicar’s first love, and after his graduation from Cairo’s School of Fine Arts in 1934, he spent more than 60 years devoting his life to teaching art at schools and universities. A painter and a portraitist, Bicar’s paintings were a brilliant mixture between clarity of expression and depth of understanding – somewhere between modernism and traditionalism. In his senior year of college, he studied alongside Ahmad Sabri,…

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