Sameh Ismail
A Note about My Practice

For the past eight years the Arabic Alphabets have intrigued me and shaped my Painting practice: the form of the letter, the symbol, the meaning and the Phonetic.

My dual practice as a professional painter by rigorous formal fine art education--and musician/percussionist feed into each other. The sounds produced by music led me to try to transcend the simple visual aesthetics of standard abstract painting; I introduced visual elements that could be linked to sound. Arabic letters have entered my surfaces as a recognized cultural form, a visual element that could be pronounced. I introduce elements that can be perceived and recognized in ways that could extend the simple visual legibility: elements that could actually move with the brush strokes and be representative as equal energy to the energy by which my abstract painterly techniques construct my canvases. The versatility of form of the Arabic letter, and its 1500 years of vocalized and painted history, plus the centuries old visual culture of “Khatt” –or Arabic Calligraphy—all complement my inspiration as a painter.

In my research I use surfaces cut in an extreme horizontal manner; the works are painted and displayed either vertically or horizontally like ancient Egyptian scrolls. I use sepias and blacks to signify age. The Arabic letters are not used as decorative motifs, but rather to recount a phrase or a meaningful sentence. My surfaces try to represent my very multilayered culture: Arab, Egyptian, Mediterranean and African, where writing and painting were paramount tools for several renaissances throughout history.
SAMEH ISAMIL - A SAFE WAY OUT Exhibition - [ Press Here To View The Exhibition ]
TO BE THERE Exhibition - [ Press Here To View The Exhibition ]
Sameh Ismail's exhibition Exhibition - [ Press Here To View The Exhibition ]