Category Archives: Uncategorized


APRIL 3, 2013 AT 7 PM

As part of our mission to nurture art knowledge, we are celebrating the 79th passing anniversary of Egypt’s iconic sculptor – Mahmoud Mokhtar. Dr Emad Abou-Ghazi, Egypt’s former minister of culture and a historian, will indulge into our glorious past, celebrating Egypt’s nationalistic hero and sculptor by taking us through the personal and the public about Mokhtar.

On show, we will exhibit rare personal photographs from Mokhtar and original works of sculpture on loan from private collectors.


Maged Mekhail Joins ArtTalks February 2013

As part of our mission to act as a search engine for Egypt’s next generation of Contemporary Artists, ArtTalks is proud to  announce the addition of Maged Mekhail to its roster of promising emerging artists.


Born in1982,Mekhail graduated from Helwan Fine Arts Institute in 2004, after which he trained during 4 years under the tutelage of Egyptian pivotal artist, Adam Henein. Armed with outstanding craftsmanship and intensive training, Mekhail carved a distinctive and independent direction for himself, culminating in winning the 2011 Sculpture Award at the Ministry of Culture’s Youth Salon.


Mekhail continues the legacy of prominent Egyptian sculptors such as Mahmoud Mokhtar and Henein to mix pharaonic influence with contemporary sculpting. To this however, he adds Coptic influences deriving from his roots. His forms are usually semi-abstractions of the human figure – suggestive celebration of the sensual female body or icons of our proud Egyptian Coptic and Muslim heritage.


As we struggle and argue about our Egyptian identity, Maged Mekhail gently reminds us of what we stand for – a diverse, rich and tolerant people who has shaped the past and is able to embrace the future.

Long Live Free Art!| Group Exhibition

Five rebellious, avant-garde Egyptian writers and painters founded in 1939 a movement that for the first time in modern Egypt linked politics to art – The Art & Freedom Group. Though surrealism prevailed amongst the founders, the group was an eclectic cluster of some of the most important creative forces Egypt had ever seen.


Convinced that Egypt was “a sick and failing society”, the 5 outspoken protagonists (George Henein, Ramses Younan, Fouad & Anwar Kamel and Kamel el Telmessani) stated that art did not exist merely as ‘art for art’s sake’, but rather‘ art presented itself as the means to liberate Egypt’, with the defiant use of the pen and brush.


Fast forward to Egypt in 2012, with a newly democratically elected president and a confused society, we are presenting the works of 9 Egyptian artists whose work echoes the legacy of the Art & Freedom group, acting as agents for social change for a free liberated Egypt.


Samir Gharib, journalist, art critic, author, former chairman of Egypt national library and archives and currently chairman of the National Organisation of UrbanHarmony (NOUH), talked to us on December 18, 2012about the history of that art movement.MrGharibhas dedicated years of his life to document the Art & Freedom group. His research culminated into “Surrealism in Egypt” published in 1986 in 3 languages and “RayyatelKhayyal” in 199

Invitation | ArtCafe with Maged Mekhail

February 20, 2013 at 11am


Ahram Online Praises Maged Mekhail’s Solo Exhibition


Come and Join us for our ArtCafe in the Presence of the Artist Maged Mekhail.


Presenting over 50 works of sculptures and paintings, ArtTalks is proud to launch Mekhail’s first solo show in Egypt. A Mahmoud Mokhtar in the making, Mekhail trained during 4 years with Egypt’s pivotal artist, Adam Henein after graduating from the Fine Arts University in 2004. Combining Coptic, Greek and Pharaonic influences, Mekhail reminds us of our proud heritage in a contemporary set-up.


Born in 1982, Mekhail works and lives in Cairo

In Conversation with Ghada Amer

“Stich by stich, a Daughter of Islam Takes on Taboos” wrote the New York Times in 2001 about Ghada Amer.

On November 20, 2012, ArtTalks had the priviledge to host Ghada Amer who defies nationality, religion and gender and established herself as a universal artist.

Born in Egypt, educated in France and currently living in New York, Ghada Amer’s international artistic trajectory is inspiring, fascinating and bold. Her portfolio of work, that continually challenges convention and turns tradition on their head, places Ghada Amer as one of the top female artists in the world.


Talking to a thirsty crowd, Ghada Amer presented 100 charts summing up her body of work across the different media she uses – embroidered canvas, prints, sculptures, garden installations and her collaboration with Reza Farkondeh.


Amer seeks to depict the major idea of female pleasure, using texts or images that speak of women’s sexuality, desire and happiness, subtly exposing the contradictions inherent in religious and feminist forms of extremism. Raised in a conservative family, Amer confessed that she uses art as a tool to rebel and express her anxieties. “e;e;I would have died if I didn’t make art. It is a kind of salvation for me.”e;


ArtTalks is currently showing a rare, limited edition, original hand painted prints available for sale. On view until December 6, 2012.


In talking with and exhibiting internationally-acclaimed Middle-Eastern artists, ArtTalks fulfills one of its most important aspects of its mission: the educational programming addressing both collectors and artists. Our intention is to serve as a forum for knowledge and exchange, besides acting as a global search engine for Egypt’s next generation of contemporary artists.


Black and white photographs of the Talk are courtesy of Sherine Mishriki.

In Conversation with Shirin Neshat

In Conversation with Fatenn Mostafa, founder of ArtTalks, Iranian-born, New-York based filmmaker and artist Shirin Neshat talked for the first time in Egypt to a packed audience of art collectors and artists. Present with Shirin Neshat was her life-long professional collaborator and photographer Larry Barns.


After going through a snapshot of her extraordinary politically-charged portfolio of work, Neshat talked about exile, longing, women in Muslim societies, the parallels between Iran and Egypt and the importance of being an artist in today’s turbulent world. Neshat has become a voice for her people examining Iran pre- and post-Islamic Revolution, tracing political and societal changes through powerful images or films of women.


Shirin Neshat is a prolific artist who has worked in a variety of mediums including film and photography. Neshat was born in Iran but moved to the United States after high school; however, the 1979 Iranian Revolution prevented her from returning to her native country. Only in 1990 was she able to return to Iran.


It was probably one of the most shocking experiences that I have ever had. The difference between what I had remembered from the Iranian culture and what I was witnessing was enormous.”Art became a tool for examining her sense of cultural and geographic displacement. In 1999, she won the International Award of the 48th Venice Biennale with Turbulent and Rapture videos. In 2009, her first feature film, Women without Men, earned the Silver Lion for best director at the 66th Venice Film Festival.


Finally, Neshat passionately talked about her current project and what will bring her to Egypt more often – a feature film about the iconic singer Umm Kalthoum.

Exhibition | Ghada Amer Limited Edition Prints

Internationally-acclaimed, Egyptian-born, New-York based Ghada Amer is currently exhibiting a series of rare, limited edition original hand painted prints available for sale at ArtTalks | Egypt.


Continually challenging convention and turning traditions on their head, Ghada Amer celebrates female pleasure and seeks to unravel the incomprehensibility of love, playing with Fairy Tales legends, Superman or Cowboys .


On View until December 6, 2012.

FIAC | Gallery Continua | Panel Discussion | October 19, 2012

On October 19th, 2012, Galleria Continua | San Gimignano | Beijing | Le Moulin | organized a panel discussion, part of FIAC, Paris to discuss the status of Egyptian Contemporary Art a year after the sweeping Arab Spring.


The panelists were Moataz Nasr, artist and founder of Darb 1718, Simon Njami, curator and art critic, Mario Cristiani, founder and director of Galleria Continua and Fatenn Mostafa, founder of ArtTalks | Egypt.

ArtTalks Organises Guided Tour at The Museum of Egyptian Modern Art

ArtTalks organised a Guided Tour of the Museum of Egyptian Modern Art for 25 wives of Ambassadors in Egypt. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, the 3-hour tour focussed on a selected number of masterpieces displayed at the hidden, unknown gem – that is the Museum of Egyptian Modern Art, located at the Opera Complex.


The tour helped provide a brief introduction to the history of modern art in Egypt, covering the rich history of the museum and its collection of over 15,000 artworks, of which 500 are on display.

The Egyptian Museum of Modern Art Celebrates Abdel Hadi El Gazzar Anniversary

On March 14, 1925, Abdel Hadi el Gazzar was born in Alexandria. Forty one years later, on March 7, 1966, Abdel Hadi el Gazzar passed away in Cairo. To celebrate one of Egypt’s undisputed modern art pioneers and greatest masters, The Egyptian Museum of Modern Art exhibited some of Gazzar’s works from the Museum’s storage that had not been displayed in recent history. The presence of Layla, the wife and Fayrouz, one of the 3 daughters, was as magical and emotional as the masterpieces displayed.


Ibn el Kelab el Nahs (The Damned Son of a Bitch)drawing has rarely been displayed to the public, with a title and a poem, written by Gazzar, as provocative as it possible can. Painted in 1953, the work depicts a fantastic tree emerging out of a woman’s face with an owl on the tree’s trunk. On the left side of the tree, a woman sits, mourning, with her hair mingling with the tree’s hairy branches. Many narratives exist about what Gazzar aimed to explain through this drawing – yet it remains a mystery. The left part, showing a heavy woman beating a man lying on the floor on his stomach, probably refers to the enigmatic title of the drawing.


Another work,The Theater of Life, 1948, oil on cardboard, defined as Gazzar’s most important work, had led to his arrest by King Farouk.


“The young Egyptian Revolution has been, in some way, the result, the confirmation and the triumph of the social consciousness represented in the work, the message and the pressure coming through the expression of young Egyptian painters.”e; Aimé Azar’s remark, which appeared inLa peinture moderne en Egypte, Cairo, Editions Nouvelles, 1961, refers to the impact of Gazzar’s masterpiece showing 8 adults and one child, standing in front of emply plates, giving it credit, amongst other artists’ works, in creating a certain social unease that culminated in the 1952 Revolution that overthrew the King and turned Egypt into a Republic.