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Painting Project

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It is with great pleasure that Safarkhan presents a contemporary talent that needs little introduction these days owing to his rapidly rising star. Ahmed Gaafary’s debut with us will be exhibiting from November 24th until December 29th, and promises to be the first of more to come, and a definite highlight of our new season.
Although Gaafary has previously exhibited with the government, he has enjoyed relatively little exposure given his artistic acumen and potential. This initial series of works we are presenting from Gaafary’s distinguished brand of abstract oil painting centers on his infatuation with the concept of communication in its myriad forms.
This perpetual transmission of sentiments, thoughts and knowledge on the material, mental and spiritual levels, is the overarching preoccupation of this part of his artistic journey. Gaafary has placed his own unmistakable personal stamp on the abstract figurative space in contemporary Egyptian art through his unique style, one which defies the propensity of some abstract art toward being overly vague, confusing or strange. Instead his canvases are relatable, humanizing and with an identifiable profound message and purpose. The word synesthesia comes from the Greek words: “synth,” meaning “together” and “ethesia,” meaning “perception.” Gaafary was an avid reader and admirer of the famed Russian-­‐American author Vladimir Nabokov, who was a self-­‐professed synesthetic.
This curious neurological condition in which information meant to stimulate one of your senses stimulates several of your senses, often causes those who have it to associate words, letters, numbers and other things with specific colors. Nabokov firmly believed that novels should not aim to teach but instead elicit a higher aesthetic enjoyment through paying close attention to details of style and structure. Similarly, Gaafary’s painting style thoughtfully partitions the canvas into irregular blocks of complementary colors soothingly tessellated and connected to one another.
He embellishes these structured colorful spaces with semi-­‐ambiguous details in the form of symbols and shapes that accompany his characteristic android-­‐like or plant and animal figures, establishing this higher aesthetic and indeed synesthetic quality. Gaafary’s painting is special in the sense that it often stimulates a kind of sensorial fusion where it is not just our vision involved when we encounter and appreciate his works. The element of universal communion that Gaafary explores, whether it is from plants to animals to humans to the great unknown, is a contemplative musing on the connectedness of all forms of life.
Gaafary asserts that this has become inevitably accelerated in the modern world through the phenomenon of technological advancement, which he reflects in his subtle yet recurring antennae and satellite imagery, symbols of transmission and reception. What makes his paintings so enduring and alluring is not only how seemingly organic and fitting these assemblages feel in terms of their colors and contents, but equally so it is their inherent quality of timelessness.
Gaafary’s canvases hold a certain indeterminate property, as though they could be from any era from the distant past, the present or the far future. It is almost as though he is using art as a form of encoded synesthetic language that he wants the viewers to uncover and envelop all their senses in, intentionally keeping parts of this language concealed, to be discovered only by the initiated or the enlightened.