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Safarkhan has the pleasure to introduce to youthe young promising talent Ahmed Saber in his first solo exhibition. Saber’sdebut with Safarkhan (Est. 1968) is a celebration of the young artist’s nativeUpper Egypt, its deeply-rooted customs, mythology and captivating metaphysicaltraditions. Saber’s unique form of metaphysical surrealism harmonizes imageryof ancient and modern symbolism, and is a veneration of the cradle within whichthe greatest civilization of antiquity arose along the banks of the Nile, that ofAncient Egypt. His work is a thoughtful homage to the modest and laboriouslives of these rural Saidi communities, guardians of Egypt’s most precious giftto the world since time immemorial.

Teatro by Ahmed Saber

Famed play wright William Shakespeare once said; “Life is atheatre, and we are all actors.” I have found out that life is a very largetheatre! Speaking in such theater may be vague and obscure, or it may besurreal, characterized with obscurity and misunderstanding. Man cannot live afulfilling life on bread and water alone, he must have freedom, creativity andindividuality. We act so as to live, and in doing so we seek to hide ourdefects and private acts, to appear better and more acceptable to the others.The instinct of remaining alive and proving our existence may push us towardssuch destination. Life is Avery real theatre where we find birth, life anddeath, penetrated by moments of delight, happiness, love, hope, as well aspain, sickness, fear, exhaustion, hardship, hate and envy. There are a lot ofsimilarities between theater and life such as heroes, outcast artists,marginalized actors, decorations and even the very own theatre curtain that isopened for the start and shut at the end. These are also simple facts of life.Everything has a beginning and an end. The theater curtain is re-opened on anew play. There is a birth followed by a death, a generation negating theother. Human beings in life are men and women. There are players that may betalented and good, and there are those who are the deceivers and failures.

On such a stage, my works are metaphysicalrenditions of reality with all symbols and indications expressing the customsand traditions lived inside us to reflect the quotation of William Shakespeare.Amongst the elements I used in my paintings is the fish as the symbol forreproduction, goodness, life, welfare and fertility, a symbol for renovationand highly used in mythology. In Arabic legends and Semitic civilizations andheavenly religious beliefs, it is symbolic of resurrection. I also use felineimagery, representing the body, flexibility and agility in motion. It is also acreature linked with magic and death-like silence, creeping up on one likemortality that is waiting for all of us in fate and destiny. I also employmotifs of pomegranate fruit, mentioned in the Islamic religion in a number ofverses. The definition of pomegranates in Latin is an apple containing a lot ofseeds. It is the fruit of paradise, and comparisons can be made between thesymbolism of pomegranates with that of the forbidden fruit, the apple, denotingknowledge and temptation, and a gateway between love and war. The cardinal sinthat was the reason for God banishing man from the Garden of Eden, and into aworld full of evil, vice and conspiracies.

The rooster symbolizes activity andalertness, the camel symbolizes patience and itis an indication for the oldestmeans of transport, while the tortoise symbolizes the unification of sky andland. The earliest Christians were the first ones to love tortoises. Theydeemed it as a symbol for evil powers, particularly in times of war, and theyare used as a symbol for longevity in folklore. All such natural symbols that Iexpress in my paintings are employed in augury and spirituality. They pronouncethe creativity of nature that bears its round shell, such as the sky, which isabove the earth and whose ends are the earth’s surface and the limitlessexpanse of space. I was keen on using these metaphysical symbols represented inornaments, details and elements related to inherited age-old beliefs andcustoms. Finally, I would lie to quote the great artist and pioneer Hamed Nada(1924 – 1990), who said; “I am more interested in diving below the surface intothe psyche of the human being, rather than the outward reality.” 


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