With 27 paintings inspired by the famous Fayoum Portraits, artist Omar al-Fayoumi opened his most recent exhibition yesterday in Gallerie Misr in the upscale Cairo district of Zamalek. The exhibition runs till 2 February. The Fayoum portraits were Greco-Roman era portraits of deceased persons, painted on wood or cartonnage, and placed on the covers of their sarcophagi.
Fayoumi, who evidently follows both artistic schools of expressionism and realism, depicted in his portraits the details of human features of everyday life, evoking an aura of romance. He skilfully employed his colour palette as if he possessed a full orchestra in his finger tips and masterfully orchestrated all the instruments. Each of Fayoumi’s portraits has beauty all of its own, and expresses a different face, while highlighting the artist’s sense of beauty and feeling of happiness.
Fayoumi was born in 1957 and graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo in 1981, majoring in mural painting. In 1991 he earned a PhD from the Arts Academy of St Petersburg. He participated in numerous individual and group exhibitions inside and outside Egypt. Some of his works are on display in Cairo’s Modern Art Museum and in the Ministry of Culture.