The Horse’s Ghost was the theme title of a recent show of works by veteran artist Mustafa al-Razzaz.
Born in 1942 in the East Delta province of Daqahliya, Razzaz attended the Higher Institute of Art Education, graduating in 1965. He gained a Masters degree in art education in 1972. Two years later Razzaz studied arts and crafts at Oslo University, and in 1979 he was awarded a Ph.D in Philosophy from New York University.
From 1988 to 1996, Razzaz was Dean of the Faculty of Specific Education for Arts and Music. Since 1992 until now he has been the director of the Egyptian association for folkloric arts.
The near impossible balance
Razzaz is not only a painter; he is also a sculptor and an art-critic. The catalyst for his work has been the diverse aspects of Egyptian culture which he renders on canvas, in effect creating his own anthology of folkloric tales based on extant myths.
The recent al-Razzaz exhibition is the fruit of more than 56 years of creativity and knowledge in the sciences and humanities. He is one of those prominent contemporary Egyptian artists who have managed to fulfil the near impossible balance between creativity on one hand and the highest academic and cultural position on the other.
In the field of portraiture, sculpture and graphics, Razzaz has held more than 120 exhibitions in Egypt, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Tunisia, Kuwait, Qatar, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the U.S.
The horses in al-Razzaz’s exhibition neigh in pride, nobility and grandeur. A sufi-romantic trend can be seen in his paintings, exceeding worldly values and moving towards a state of spirituality. In some of the paintings the horse appears as a miracle; light issuing from inside and radiating outwards until its limbs fuse into a dazzling halo that engulfs the viewer in a rapture of amazement.
22 June 2016