GUIRGUIS LOTFI, Egypt (1955)
Born in 1955 in Alexandria, Egypt, Lotfi Guirguis completed his BFA at Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria in 1980. He earned an MFA in 1986 and a Ph.D. in 1991 from Helwan University with a thesis focused on Coptic Art and Its Effect on Modern Art. Guirguis depicts the popular culture in Egypt. He paints daily life in the modest neighborhoods of Alexandria, where he lives, revealing its packed community. His canvases amass people going by their everyday businesses, while others enjoy family gatherings or take part in ceremonial events. In his majestic paintings, Guirguis celebrates joyful feasts, and lament the deceased. With a touch of gold emanating spiritual light, his work reflects on magic and old legends. Skilled in Coptic art, Guirguis revives ancient painting techniques adopted in religious iconography and Fayoum Portraits. He uses egg tempera or bees' wax mixed with pigments and introduces gold leaf into most of his paintings. His archetypal human figures with flat round faces and oval black eyes gather against flat backgrounds. Lacking a conventional linear perspective, they resonate with Islamic art traditions. Guirguis characters look in all directions trying to reach for the blessing of the creator.
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