Art series by Ahmed Gaafary
The inspirational thrust behind this latest collection from Gaafary is the element of transmission from and of the unknown, whether it is the transmission of ideas, dialogue, illustrations or sentiments, the predominant focus of his art is a contemplative musing on the connectedness of all forms of life.
In his "Terra Nova" series, Gaafary brings us his adventurous brand of abstract-figurative painting. It is a style that is decidedly removed from any other in its compositional and sentimental aspects and one that is always exploring new grounds, hence the title of his latest collection. The inspirational thrust behind the latest collection from Gaafary is the element of transmission from and of the unknown, whether it is the transmission of ideas, dialogue, illustrations, or sentiments, the predominant focus of his art is a contemplative musing on the connectedness of all forms of life. Gaafary’s canvases hold a certain indeterminate property, though this time with a more futuristic language embedded in the alien forms and landscapes that his canvases portray. In this collection, we see a progression in terms of Gaafary’s ability to cause his canvases to speak to the viewer more concretely rather than cryptically. However, he does not abandon the mysterious elements of his composition that make his work so endearingly experimental and captivating.
Gaafary has now incorporated more recognizable and seemingly randomized real-life features into his pieces; from sunglasses, a chainsaw, and a snake for example, to his more familiar motifs of ladders and his characteristic television set with its rainbow screen indicative of a lack of reception. Gaafary forces the viewer to contemplate the symbolic and antithetical meaning of these items, which he juxtaposes with their abstract surroundings so shrewdly. Where sunglasses could signify notions of disguise and concealment, they could equally engender thoughts of glaring sunshine and reflection, perhaps a sobering reflection of one’s conscience. A chainsaw could mean demolition and dismemberment, like the fragments of uneven blocks and shapes of color animating his canvases, but it could also signify the inexorable power of industry. A snake, sprawled across the night sky, reminiscent of the famous constellation of Thuban, whose name was attributed by wandering Arabian astrologers millennia ago, signifies in monotheistic religion, cunning and deceit, but in ancient mythology, fertility and immortality.
Thus, we see a concerted effort from Gaafary in this collection to explore the vast domain of contradiction and dualism, as he offers glimpses of identifiable imagery for us to latch onto and extrapolate. His enigmatic usage of shapes, lines, disjointed blobs, patches of color, and irregular, sporadic patterns create, along with his curious bionic and extraterrestrial-like figures, scenes that appear as though they are being communicated by beings from a distant galaxy. Indeed, that is one of the key messages Gaafary advances through his art, that this alien realm, so foreign in its appearance, customs, languages, and everything else, could just as easily be a reflection of ourselves, rather than any other form of life we may ponder when we look up into the infinite expanse of space. That is why Gaafary’s brand of abstract painting is ultimately a brave exploration of the unknown and a yearning to connect with that, which is different from ourselves and what we know in the here and now.
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