Many of us are forced into different battles that we never get to choose. We just find ourselves carrying swords and shields and fighting against our own-selves and against the hardships of life.
In one of the sculptures, artist Ahmed Abdel Tawab depicts a warrior at rest, catching his breath, his body worn out by the trip. He looks at a sparrow that landed on his hand and seems to be content with just doing that at the moment. He lays his sword and shield aside as if declaring that he is not part of the battle raging around him or has decided to quit fighting for good, in an attempt to search for peace of mind.
However is a conjunction that links opposites, denotes retraction, and mirrors the different contradictions that lie between choice and compulsion. Like many fables in which animals become the main source of wisdom, Abdel Tawab speaks through his bulls and horses, which are the main protagonists of this exhibition.
Bulls are the animals most known for being forced into arenas and losing their lives. In bullfights, the matador creates a struggle that only serves to satisfy his lust for power and earn him spectators’ applause and admiration while the bulls bleed to death. Because we always exchange places in our ongoing battle, there is no such thing as winners and losers throughout, for life is fickle and so are the battles it involves. That is why in some of the sculptures, Abdel Tawab switches the attributes of bulls and human beings to highlight the everchanging game of power and dominance.
Each of Abdel Tawab’s sculptures is unique for no bull looks like another and the same applies to horses. The artist continues employing variations of geometrical shapes that, upon merging, acquire a new life as they take the shape of organic forms, whether human beings, animals, or birds. Abdel Tawab starts with conical shapes that develop into other geometrical forms, which he harnesses to liberate the bodies he portrays. These bodies become the channel through which he tackles the issues that preoccupy him and gives his works the uniqueness they are known for. While those works are characterized by compactness and density, they are impregnated with latent energies that guide us towards freedom and encourage us to break away with traditional modes of thinking.