AL MASAR GALLERY │Contemporary Art

OPENING | Sunday | 10 November​  2013│7:00 PM – 9: 0 0 PM

The exhibition will continue through 3 December 2013

Al Masar Gallery | Contemporary Art has the pleasure to announce the opening of ​the new season’s first exhibition “The Mirage II” by established artist​ Hazem Taha Hussein.  The artist was born in Giza, Egypt in 1961. He is an Associate Professor of visual communication design at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Helwan University. The exhibition will showcase the artist’s new collection.

Hazem Taha Hussein is famous for his special technique in composition. His compositions are made of overlaying Islamic patterns on the background in an effort to hide the abstract figures he draws. After painting & drawing figures, faces, shapes & angels, he fully covers them with paint followed by bare areas. He finishes his paintings by covering the entire surface with interlacing & repeated Islamic patterns. The Islamic pattern laid on top gives movement, fluidity & change to the piece which makes the forms & figures before the eyes constantly appearing & disappearing like a mirage. The pattern he uses greatly resembles the patterns found in Mosques which makes the viewer stare at one point in the painting at a time. The viewing experience becomes fluid & is constantly changing at different states of emotions leaving the viewer to continuous interpretations and different insights, each time uncovering & rediscovering something new.

“The Mirage II” is a continuation of a series that goes beyond the idea of a mirage as a natural optical illusion. It’s rather based on the production of social & cultural images & ideas that are often linked to mythical narratives merged one way or another with contemporary events.  Concealing things is a new visual illusion to help read hybrid local & global codes. If we take heroes of American cartoons known to our culture like Mickey Mouse or we take the catholic angel & we mix them with veiled women & make them the background of an Islamic pattern, in that case, the Islamic pattern loses its original ideological function as a beautiful decoration, Mickey Mouse becomes the funny Egyptian Mickey not the one that represents Disney movies & the veiled women with the mausoleum in the background become storytellers of Greek-Egyptian stories from Cairo in the forties.

Therefore Hazem Taha successfully merges western and eastern elements in his artworks producing compelling forms for the viewer to interact with and to relate to, thus creating a new visual dialogue.

Click here to view artist’s biography.

To view full painting with its caption, click on the image to enlarge it.