Works by renowned contemporary artist George Bahgoury can be categorized as Expressionist and Cubist with bright colours appealing to folk art fans, but he is perhaps most famous for his political cartoons that have been featured in the Arabic press for decades. Bahgoury paints in a manner that viewers can perceive as either dark or whimsical, a model combination for the rugged and creative spirit of both Egypt and the 20th century’s best-selling artist.
Born into a Coptic Christian family in Luxor in 1932, Bahgoury studied painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Zamalek, Cairo, under the guidance of the Egyptian artist Hussein Bikar. In 1970, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris. His 30-year stay in Paris refined his talent in drawing, engraving, painting, sculpture, marionette art, novel writing, cinema, and criticism. Upon a special invitation from the Society of Art Lovers in Paris, his works were selected to represent the Egyptian Pavilion at the Louvre Museum in 1999, where his painting “A Face from Egypt” won the Silver Medal award. From 1953 to 1975, Bahgoury was also a prominent cartoonist for the two weekly Egyptian magazines, Sabah El Kheir and Rose El-Youssef. Some of his works were acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in Amman and the Museum of Modern Art in Cairo.