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It is with great pride that Safarkhanannounces the third exhibition for contemporary rising artist Ibrahim Khatab,whose latest creative efforts are a remarkable departure from the calligraphicstyle that he emerged and rose to prominence in. Well-respectedfor his exemplary community work in social and educational spheres as aco-instructor at Cairo University, Khatab is playing a crucial role as both anartist and teacher in educating and inspiring Egyptian youth. Since his debutat Safarkhan, Khatab has seen his pieces exhibited from Sweden to Cape Town toOman. His latest collection, an attempt to revive and reinstate ancientEgyptian culture and emphasize its timeless significance and continuity inmodernity, are evidence of a progressive development of palette, texture and compositionthat are sure to brighten his star further.

Kemit was the Pharaonic name for Egypt, meaning theblack land, referring to the fertile soil of the Nile banks, the lifeblood ofEgypt since time immemorial. Khatab’s inspiration for his latest efforts aresteeped in an innate fascination and appreciation of the message of theancients, Kemit is his personal quest to remind us of the significance of theancient’s teachings, expression and memory in the modern age. The works bearhis trademark canvas treatment involving an over ten-stage layering processusing old newspapers, street posters and discarded publications. This techniqueinvolves a skillful element of speed because of the chemical reactions heemploys to create the psychedelic visual effects of his backgrounds. Khatabintentionally leaves evidence of these layers on the sides of his canvases,which are also identifiable in places within the paintings on closerinspection, in order to highlight the conversation between past and presentwhich is a key theme of this collection.

The creative effort that defines Kemit is a featof personal achievement for Khatab, who demonstrates a reimagined and indeedrefined palette which is now more calculated and harmonious, like his excellingin various blue & red tones for example, which the Pharaohs were known tobe masters of. He also exhibits new techniques such as the embossing he usesaround all the Pharaonic imagery and motifs in each piece, which skillfullymimics the impression of bas-reliefs on stone temple walls. However, Khatab farfrom merely reproducing ancient imagery, recreates and rearranges them in hisown artistic impression with an unconventionality that captivates. Each episodeor piece in Kemit reflects a different subject message and exudes its owndistinct feeling, from the harsh to the tranquil to the ethereal and beyond. Kemitis this artist’s resolute call to reaffirm our pride in our glorious pastcivilization and harness its eternal message for the betterment of our presentand future.






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