"This collection constitutes the artist’s own illustrative psychoanalysis of sorts, a concerted quest to elaborate and extrapolate on the essence of the subconscious mind that we are each beholden to, and how it determines our conception of self in the truest sense of the word, a word which itself confounds as much as it describes. “Through this journey, I realized that self-awareness is an appetite for reconciliation with the beauty within us,” the artist surmises of his recent work, and this common thread and focus on introspection is present throughout each of the works herein."
“As in art, so in people,” is a phrase the artist, Karim Abd Elmalak, has expressed to define his latest upcoming collection. The beauty of the human spirit lies in the sheer diversity of their types, orientations, and conceptualizations of themselves, others, and the world they exist within. However, the most significant aspect of the human psyche and spirit of being, which is the closest definition for the Arabic term which serves as this series’ title, is the journey of self-discovery and coming to terms with the dimensions, limitations, and reaching of our ego and self. Through this understanding and the knowledge of how changes affect these parameters of the mind and self, we attain a deeper understanding of who we truly are. Indeed, only after doing so can we expect to employ this model of self-reflection to faithfully interpret the world around us with all its intricacies, secrets, and enigmas of how the human soul operates in the temporal realm we call life. Abd Elmalak, in doing some soul-searching of his own in his creative process, has offered us yet another collection of paintings and sculptures that bewilders in its capacity for introspection.
Abd Elmalak in his intimately philosophical thought process refers to the German neurologist and psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, who posited that perception, as it relates to the human mind, can be delineated into two spheres, the conscious and subconscious. The former represents 10% of the human brain responsible for willpower, short-term memory, and logical and critical thinking. While the latter 90% functions as the main source for human behavior and therefore the most predominant capacity of the human mind, as the part that controls; feelings, spirituality, habits, values, reactions, long-term memory, imagination, and intuition. This collection is therefore the artist’s own illustrative psychoanalysis of sorts, a concerted quest to elaborate and extrapolate on the essence of the subconscious mind that we are each beholden to, and how it determines our conception of self in the truest sense of the word, a word which itself confounds as much as it describes. “Through this journey, I realized that self-awareness is an appetite for reconciliation with the beauty within us,” the artist surmises of his recent work, and this common thread and focus on introspection is present throughout each of the works herein.
Abd Elmalak’s demure heroines remain the protagonists of his art, and he advances through their formidable physical presence, a distinctly metaphysical message, and evocation. He accomplishes this with various illustrative techniques he is fond of, including; mirroring, blending, juxtaposition, overlaying, and superimposition. In doing so, we see the contemplative figurines that he is known for, in various states of serenity, bliss, tranquility, and silent reflection. These women are not seen in isolation, however, as Abd Elmalak imbues them with various symbolic landscapes and architectural imagery that emerge in intimate unison with their physical presence. Archways represent the passage between states of being or consciousness, stairwells allude to the ascent to a higher mental plane, seemingly endless pathways signify the unceasing quest of human discovery, and finally, the hourglass and boat represent respectfully, the fluid yet the intransigent concept of time and the vessel upon which we make our journey through time, the voyage of life. Abd Elmalak has also succeeded in developing a new form of creative output, as he marries the pensive message of his art with the furniture as sculpture, combining form and function harmoniously in his telltale compositional style.
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