Young artists to watch out for


Saudi Gazette

Engie Ezeldin, is a 21-year-old Egyptian artist based in Cairo. Using contemporary digital art based on international icons and subjects that appeal to her, Ezeldin has found a niche and aesthetic that defines who she is as an artist. Ezeldin uses popular photos that appeal to the current dynamics to create her own interpretations of reality ranging from hip-hop icons Drake and Tupac to remnants of a war-torn town depending on her mood.

“I just graduated from Parsons, the New School of Design with a Bachelor in Fine Arts. Art has always been something that I am passionate about since I was 10 or even younger. When it was about time to start applying to college I decided it was the only thing I wanted to pursue because I saw it as the only constant factor in my life that I always enjoyed,” she told Saudi Gazette. During the four years at Parsons she was drawn to acrylics, oil painting, embroidery, collage and photo-transfer. “I also enjoy sketching in a small notebook that I have. When I started my journey in Parsons I also started taking interest in digital artwork as well.”

Discussing her recent works that revolve around socio-economic issues, she said she felt the need to deal with the misrepresentations through art. “My recent work is an extension of the responsibility I feel to comment on the current socio and political events involved with Islam and Middle East. My work has the purpose to change people’s misinterpretations of the religion and bring awareness to the events taking place in the Middle East.”

Inspired by current events and social media, she said an artwork usually takes two to three months to complete. “I get ideas through the visuals I see across social media, commentary on the news as well as my personal experience of being a Muslim in America. Recently the predominant themes found in my work include the use of Islamic art and the use of photos taken by photojournalists. The theme of layering is also found throughout my work, whether I’m physically layering material or layering the idea of the past vs. the present or the layering of lively images with worn out images. I also choose my materials as a way to continue commenting on people’s association with today’s reality,” she explained.

While working in two-dimensional images made with mixed media, she aims to create pieces that confront these issues. She said the selection is based on images that belong to photojournalists that document a precise living condition of people living in war zones.

“By incorporating photographs taken in war-torn areas that show what life is like there I show confront people with the truth, I also incorporate Islamic art and design to bring attention to the beauty and individuality of Islam and Middle Eastern culture.” Currently showcasing her work at Arts Mart Gallery, you can also find her work on Instagram @etothepowerof2