“Messages” is the title of a retrospective exhibition held from 7 to 20 April for the paintings of the artist Farid Fadel at the Salah Taher gallery, in the Cairo Opera House. The exhibition included 63 paintings; some were created in 1970, 1980 1988; other recent ones were done in 2017. Each painting conveys a social and moral message.
Fadel says: “Though realism oozes out of most of my paintings, there is always a hidden message inside.” The painting “Look at me respectfully” shows an Egyptian peasant; “Egyptian Mona Lisa” pays tribute to the Egyptian woman.
Among Fadel’s paintings that leave a message is “Let the children live their childhood”. It shows three girls happily playing on a primitive swing; they are having a lot of fun with no need for modern gadgets and the like. “I think they look much happier than many children today who can’t take their eyes off video games and mobile screens,” Fadel notes. His travels in Nubia bred a number of paintings on Nubian life; the houses and people are “beautiful inside-out”.
The collection also included a painting of Moses in Sinai holding the tablets on which was written the Ten Commandments in his right hand, and his rod in the left hand. Fadel’s painting won the Vatican prize in 1973 through the first international competition.
For Fadel, art is a noble message as delicate as it is strong; it is at least the legitimate channel of satisfying the aesthetic needs of humans.