Wael Darwesh, an internationally renowned Egyptian artist, is exactly how an artist of his calibre is presumed to be. Talented beyond words and a honest, deeply introspective person. In a chat with Barakabits, he explains how each painting in his exhibition The Prank is his own personal journey on a canvas.
What inspired you to name the exhibition “The Prank”?
The concept around this idea came up when I talk about the current Egyptian situation. Not just the political but also the economic situation, the lifestyle of the people and the humanitarian problems that exist around people. The situation that has been omnipresent ever since the Egyptian revolution. I am talking about the prank that happens between the people when they talk about these issues and end it with a smile, as if reminiscing and not talking about the present. It is a composition between the political and philosophical approach to the situation of Egypt that has become instilled in every day life; something that everyone can relate to.
What inspires you when you paint?
I go to my workshop everyday. I might not paint everyday, but I do go everyday. I talk to the people, I watch people. All I have before I start to paint is an idea that I write down and I use my computer to help understand and combine different styles. And suddenly I realize that I am painting and before I know it, I am stamping the back of it. But I do not move the painting, I keep it uncovered right where it is and if after some time I feel satisfied with it, I send it. Time is important in this, time brings change, new perspective.
What are your plans for this year?
Exhibitions are an important part of the learning process. I observe how people react to my paintings, from where they begin, where they stop, what catches their eye, what they stress upon and how they finish. It is important, not because I want to please them but because I want to understand them, to understand the society. So for this year I plan to get as much exposure I can.