Kareem El Qurity (b. 1982, Cairo, Egypt) is a painter and a mixed media artist. He holds a BFA from the Faculty of Art Education & an MA specializing in “Painting” from Helwan University, Egypt. Qurity takes the social dynamics of Egyptian public urban spaces – like crowded streets – as a base element in all of his mixed media paintings. Through his gigantic portraits and non-traditional compositions much reminiscent of film photography techniques, Qurity depicts entire emotions from the cropped faces.
Qurity’s main source of inspiration is the street. As he once stated himself, he feels that the Egyptian street has more sadness than any other street in the world. This after spending many days sketching and filming people on public transportation in order to decipher the subtle variations of their moods, the richness of their resignation, and the depth of their sadness.
Thus it is obvious in his art and the faces he paints on the canvas. Qurity’s reflection from his observations is successfully applied in his art and a true art critic can never fail to note this fact.
Qurity produced a body of work titled “People & the Constitution” (produced over the course of 2 years); the project is inspired by the crowded streets of Cairo in which the artist began observing, sketching & filming people on public transportation in order to decipher the subtle variation in their moods, the richness of their resignation and the depth of their sadness. Through his art, he sheds light on the constitution which theoretically is set to serve the rights of the rulers and the ruled, religious and political practices, partisan life and social justice.
The artist here is in search for the relationship between the people and the constitution, to clarify the consistency of the constitution as text written with behaviors and attitudes of people in the community. He is also trying to find out whether the people develop texts that are not written or codified, and if so how they reflect them in their daily practices as a safe haven to ensure the circumvention of the constitution while the text remain locked in the paper it’s written on. People and the constitution theme is an extension of the artist’s previous project/body of work “Safe Haven”, which expressed the idea of people’s inner feelings about self security in Egypt.
The artist’s project “People & the Constitution” was exhibited at the Cairo International Biennial XII 2010, consisting of three big panels under the name of “People against the Constitution” which marked his first experience with the Cairo International Biennale.
Qurity twice won Prize of the Youth Art Salon in Cairo, and his works were shown in The Biennale of Young Creators of Europe and the Mediterranean, Skopje, Macedonia, 2009, Peking Biennale 2010 and Nord Art 2010 in Carlshütte, Germany in 2010. Qurity participated in many of Al Masar Gallery’s group exhibitions which include: Contemporary Views IV | Figurative Practices (2011), Edge Sentiments (2010), The Art Breeze at Hacienda White (2010), Contemporary Views III (2010), Contemporary Vibes II | Al Masar Gallery’s first exhibition in Kuwait (2009), Il Corpus Homanus (2009) & Contemporary Views II (2009). Al Qurity has participated in Christie’s auction in Dubai titled “Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian & Turkish Art” in both 2011 and 2012.