Wael Darwish

waelWael Darwish (b. 1974) is a multidisciplinary artist who uses painting, video and installation art to articulate his observations of political and social change in Egypt. The artist describes himself as being in ‘a state of continuous opposition’, taking up his paint brush to express his frustrations at current conditions in Egypt where others might take to the streets.

Exhibitions: Darwish has shown in several highly acclaimed group exhibitions including the Maldives Pavillion at the 55th Venice Biennale, (2013), Abu Dhabi Art Fair, United Arab Emirates (2009, 2011, 2012), Art 13 London (2013), 10th International Fine Arts Colony in Hungary (2011) and in the Egyptian Pavillion of the III Biennale of Art Ecuador (2010). Darwish is represented by the Art Sawa Gallery in Dubai and the Safarkhan Gallery in Cairo and holds regular solo exhibitions in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

Education: Darwish holds a PhD in Contemporary Painting Philosophy and an M.F.A in Painting and Drawing from the Faculty of Art at Helwan University in Cairo.

“In the past few years ….I have been much concerned with the changing perceptions and the state of continuous social metamorphosis that Egypt, as an African, Arab and Middle East country that was colonized and liberated, has witnessed in the last three decades.

In my mixed media projects,…. I try to probe several phenomenon that constitute for me some permanent obsessions, like subjugation, liberty, constraints of time, its relevance to the subject matter employed, elements of migration, gender, identity, among other themes that attract several Egyptian artists of my generation.

I am a painter, video and installation artist. In my painting I am obsessed by the human movement and their quest for freedom, while in my mixed media works and installation, I apply assemblages to create sculptural states that transcend simple two-dimensional art forms; through the studied and experimental use of collage I combine color, calligraphy, textile, and various textural media to explore issues of gender, independence, freedom, space and passage of time.

Every photographed or painted individual play a different role while interacting with each other in a universe that is almost hyper real. my attempts to extend the limits of standard painting, and expands the battery of symbols proposed by this medium by accumulating what photography can add to the canvas: frozen reality, depth of field, and more visual symbols that Jean Baudrillard proposed – in my seminal work on simulation and simulacra as defining our contemporary over-industrialized societies today.”


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