ArtTalks is proud to present ‘From Still to Life’, Rostom’s second solo exhibition at the Gallery.
Rostom presents thirty drawings, where he blends Western ballet with oriental moments. Along the way, he invented a surreal or maybe an insane world, where extravagant belly dancers, Bedouins in their galabeyas dancing to the rhythm of their wooden sticks, and whirling dervishes with their long Sufi traditions mix with ballet slippers, snakes, gazelles, lions, horses, Aladdin’s lamp, and some more.
By mixing between ancient Egyptian art with its statuesque postures and the art of modern dancing, Rostom excels in his surrealist imagination to defy the status quo of the Old against the New, the East in connection to the West. A master of the pen and ink technique, he draws his whimsical figures in surreal backgrounds to convey enthralling messages and emotions, mixing icons and symbols to challenge the mind with a critical view on our world. Combining his Pharaonic formal training with themes about myth, magic, power, mankind and animals make his work powerful, intriguing, and certainly provide some highly needed food for thought.
Degas finely depicted ballerinas with mastery in a realist brush. Toulouse-Lautrec captured the exuberant energy of Paris night life. The Egyptian Wanly brothers caught Egypt during its belle époque. Rostom, on the other hand, shares visions within the realm of art between “still” and “live.” It is not only what we perceive in the movements and steps, but what this all could imply within the current turbulent socio-political environment. The dance fusion brings out the engulfed animal in all of us as our source of emotions. Departing from a purely academic sight of ballet, Rostom goes all the way in the direction of core sensuality and life as a whole.
Born in 1978, Yasser Rostom is a Cairo-based surrealist artist. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Helwan University and obtained his Masters Degree in Ancient Egyptian Pharaonic Art. Rightly referred to as the ‘Arab Dali’ of the 21st century, Rostom established his unique style of flamboyant and mad imagery, merged with ancient histories, to provide a surreal interpretation of the insanely decadent world we live in today.