“It is impossible,” muttered Alice. “Only if you believe it is” replied the Mad Hatter. A dialogue between Alice, the seven-year old key protagonist and one of the fantasy characters in ‘Alice in Wonderland’, the nineteenth century fairy tale by British author Lewis Caroll. The Mad Hatter could be multi-media Egyptian artist Riham ElSadany who has faith that nothing is impossible for women, even in rigid patriarchal societies. In her upcoming solo exhibition ‘Lust in Wonderland’ at ArtTalks Gallery in Cairo, ElSadany offers mental maps of imaginary territory, using non-sensical visuals to defy conventions and logical reasoning and reach a new kind of living sense. In her second solo exhibition at the gallery, imagination and fantasy rule in a fabricated world made for and by women. In this Wonderland, the artist explores the audacious belief that women could be free and hence daydreams of what these women would experience and how they would fantasize their lives.
Born in 1978 in Cairo, Egypt, Riham El Sadany works and lives between Egypt and the USA. With a PhD from Helwan Fine Arts university on Performance Arts, El Sadany draws upon a diverse range of influences, including surrealism, Picasso’s childlike spontaneity, and Frida Kahlo’s transforming of pain and struggle into stunning canvasses. A mixed media artist, El Sadany indulges into a world of dramatic fantasy, masterly vacillating between the visible and the invisible of the complex human psyche. When looking at El Sadany’s entire body of work, one wonders whether she is a surrealist artist painting her dreams and fears, or whether she is simply painting our own reality as it really is and as she sees it. The women in El Sadany’s repertoire are the focal point. Though mostly bulky and muscular, they are tender, romantic and sensual. It is however the set up, rich in optical illusions and superimposed elements, that embark us on a medley of the real and the imagined.
A mixed media artist, ElSadany indulges into a world of dramatic, sensual fantasy, masterly vacillating between the forbidden and the allowed, the real and imaginary, the wishful and the reality, the unattainable and the reachable, in a world where women have the upper hand.
When looking at El Sadany’s entire body of work, one wonders whether she is a surrealist artist, painting her dreams and fears, or whether she is simply painting our own reality as it really is and as she sees it. It is however the set up, rich in optical illusions and superimposed elements and perspectives, that embark us on a medley of the real and the imagined; the disturbing and the comforting; the known that we recognize and the unconscious that we try to escape from.
This Group Exhibition aims at encouraging novice collectors to go beyond appreciating art by starting to gradually build an art collection. The Exhibition offers works from Egyptian Modern Pioneer Artists, and Established and Emerging Artists. The works presented have been rigidly and carefully selected, providing quality with affordability.