What advice would you give to young painters?
Just to paint and read about the history of art and its development. And just paint and paint and paint! It is not easy to know which school or movement to follow when they are beginners and are starting from scratch. There is the professional way which is to start by studying the basics first before getting into styles, currents, and schools.
Which artists are you influenced by the most?
There were many artists I was influenced by in the beginning. I was influenced by the Renaissance artists. And then, I was influenced by the 19th century’s artists, and later on Picasso. I was also influenced by the expressionist artists of northern Europe, like Edvard Munch, Kokoschka, and Kirchner.
What do you do when you suffer from creative block?
I read! I read and read and read! And I also listen to music and write. I write a collum for Al-Masry Al-Youm once a week about art or culture in general.
In “Variations,” why did you allocate a hall for black and white paintings only?
Actually, they are not black and white paintings. They are sketches and it was advised by one of my friends to allocate them and display them in a hall by themselves. And people loved them.
What makes ‘Variations’ different from your previous exhibitions?
I think the answer belongs to the audience and the viewers.
In your latest exhibition ‘Variations,’ did all the paintings abide solely to the expressionist spirit?
Generally speaking, I might say yes. The expressionistic flavour is dominant through the paintings, but there are some variations in the technique and overall mood. That’s why the exhibition is called ‘Variations.’
In the beginning of your artistic career, you were influenced by symbolism and romanticism; why did you switch to expressionism later on?
Switching towards expressionism was not a decision. Maybe it happened gradually through the accumulation of emotional and intellectual experiences.
Is there a central idea or a theme that connects all of your work?
Mainly, the human being, the expression through gestures, and the so-called inner landscape.
How do you know when a painting is done?
When I feel that I can show it to others.
How do you decide the titles of your paintings or your exhibitions?
I used to give a name to the whole collection in each exhibition, and usually the name is inspired from some of the paintings.
Did you always want to be an artist? And why?
Art was always my preferable activity since my early childhood. Why? I do not know! I have never asked myself such a question. I do what I like to do, apart from the question of being. Art is both my hobby and my job in life.