Love in Contemporary African Art - Interview Mohammed Eid.
Love is a common subject in art, and many artists find inspiration and meaning in exploring it in their work. For African artist Mohammed Eid love is a constant source of inspiration.
In an exclusive interview, the artist shares his thoughts on how he incorporates love into his creations, from initial inspiration to final realisation. His insights allow us to understand how love can be expressed in varied and profound ways in art, and how this subject can be a rich source of expression for artists of all kinds.
At the beginning of our interview, we asked Mohammed to describe himself. However, as is common for all artists, Mohammed did not know how and had some difficulty explaining his works to us, as for artists, painting is the replacement of words.
However, during our conversation, the artist's sensibility was quickly perceptible. Mohammed Eid is a young Egyptian artist who graduated in Fine Arts and is currently a professor at the Egyptian Fine Arts University. He has a great passion for art and uses it as a way of communication and expression.
What inspired you to use love as a subject in your work, and how does it play a role in your artistic vision?
Love is a subject that concerns everyone. The critical role that love plays in our lives is also reflected in art. According to a recent study, satisfying relationships are an important source of personal happiness for most Germans and they found that singles have a fairly detailed idea of what a fulfilling partnership should look like.
Visual artists have approached the subject of love for centuries in a variety of forms and thematic breadth: earthly love, mythological lovers, narcissism, eroticism and the idealisation of beauty.
In my case, the love I have for my wife and our relationship makes me approach various subjects related to love, especially marital relations and the feelings that arise with her absence, such as anxiety.
How do you approach the representation of love in your work, and what elements do you use to convey the emotions and experiences associated with love?
There are two characters present in my work, a man and a woman. These two characters represent relationships and love, encounter and absence. The bright, dull colour expresses the confusion between joy and anticipation, vitality and calm, and movement and stillness. The colours can be described as a dreamy state that contains asceticism, devotion and contemplation. Intense thirst is expressed in my longing for my beloved and my passion to unite my spirit and the attempt to forget all my worries and sorrows.
Can you talk about a specific work that explores love and what it represents to you?
Practically all the pieces that are present in the Platform explore love. However, there is one piece that I want to highlight - Autumn of Eve. It is the piece that most expresses my love affair with my wife. I compared us to Adam and Eve.
How have your own personal experiences with love influenced your work, and what do you hope audiences take away from your work when they see it?
Based on my perspective, most love stories are related to the absence of the beloved and a hidden tendency, on the part of the lover, to have their beloved wrapped in a cloud of absence. For, the presence of the loved one wrapped in that cloud of absence would shine even brighter again in his imagination. In these stories, love often withers in the presence of the beloved and only blossoms in his absence. As Jamil Buthayna says, "My passion dies in his presence, and comes back to life when we part. " I hope the audience will reflect on love and its stories and learn a lesson from their own experiences or dream of an ideal relationship.
What are the unique perspectives and experiences of artists who use love as a central theme in their work, and how does this affect their artistic expressions?
Artists possess the unique ability to capture the magnitude of such a great and fundamental emotion as love, in all its rich and varied forms, and channel it into art. All artists for whom love represents a form of practice - something that is intentional and active or, as Alain Badiou put it, "less miraculous and more hard work".
How do you feel art can be used as a tool for social commentary and political expression, and what role does love play in this?
Art plays a crucial role in shaping and renewing culture: it can illuminate the truth, create moments of joy or inspire us to act. In times like these, we need empowering artists like never before to help us reflect, to rekindle our hope and to imagine a better future.
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