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“I find myself empathizing with the woman. To the extent that I feel protective over her and I reject society’s sexual view of the woman."

Since graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria in 1998, Emad Abd El-Wahab’s art career has been a whirlwind of one great accomplishment after the next. He received a MA in 2006, and a PhD in 2014.

Abd El-Wahab studied at the School of Fine Arts in Rome, Italy as well as the Italian Institute of Painting Conservation and Restoration also in Rome. His studies took him to the Vatican where Abd El-Wahab took part in the restoration of Michelangelo’s Sisteen Chapel mural, among other restoration work Abd El-Wahab has carried out on valuable and historical paintings locally and abroad.

Needless to say, Abd El-Wahab has received a countless number of awards, prizes, certifications, and accolades both in Egypt as well as all over the world, including the Grand Prize at the Alexandria Biennale for Mediterranean countries in 2005, as well as an Honorarium and an Excellence award at the 2004 Biennale in Tunis, among a long list of prestigious awards and prizes.

Emad Abd El-Wahab’s Work at the Artist of Tomorrow Exhibit

“I named the theme of the work I’m exhibiting Zaafaran, which is a plant. The subject of my work revolves around changes that happen in Egyptian society, intellectual changes, opinions, how people are living, how do they survive. The Zaafaran plant represents the social changes within our society, the simplistic intellect, psychological weakness of people, etc… There is a problem within the very fabric of our society, across all socio-economic classes and in all directions that we cannot get rid of. I was trying to transfer all of these sentiments I have experienced in the work I am exhibiting, specifically in two of the paintings being exhibited. In my most recent two paintings, I address the issue of what separates a person and their spouse.

We see the woman bathing in the Zaafaran water in a tesht (large plastic plate), in a room, not a bathroom. Then the husband reuses the water she bathed in and bathes in it himself to remove the presence causing them issues. When there is a lack of faith, lack of intellect, lack of trust, it leaves space for sinister forces to interfere and cause a separation.”

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