Naila Marei: Youth in Translation
In the loud, eccentric, chaotic, and eclectic beating heart of Cairo is an Island. And on this Island reside a plethora of talent. Of singers and dancers, artists and designers, actors and craftsmen.
Naila Marei is a 24 year old Egyptian artist based in Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
Hannah's comments: It is always interesting to rediscover someone that you know in a completely different light. Knowing Naila since our childhood, I was pleasantly surprised to randomly stumble upon her page and see the little girl I knew way back then develop into this incredibly diverse artist.
Naila's work personally challenged my perception of people and the body, making me curious to dive into her brain and see how she perceives things. From dis-proportioned bodies to over-exaggerated features, Naila allows you to rethink the way we perceive the sexes.
Nour's comments: Portraits are some of the most intimidating forms of drawing, as an artist, you are suddenly in charge of representing someone's image, their facial expression, vibe and aura in colors and lines and textures. Their deepest thoughts and desires. I find Naila's interpretations of human figures fascinating and unapologetic. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, a book I only recently finished, the weight placed on someone's still life image is immense, because it captures a moment in the subject's life, essentially, forever. As far as finding new artwork goes, seeing human beings represented from a fresh and thought provoking perspective is the most coveted find of all.
"I never chose to get into drawing and painting, but rather I was born with extra awareness. Which I wish wasn't the case sometimes! But being an artist isn't always all colourful. They say it takes a lifetime to come to grips with being an artistic person; and I couldn't agree more, but when ones pores are energetically wide open, and an overload of information is absorbed, one needs to find a way to process it. In my case, art still isn't my ultimate therapy, but it's a means of expressing half the things I think about. I'd say I never really chose to draw, but more that drawing chose me." - Naila Marei