A Conversation with Samar Kamel

01 Nov 2018

A Conversation with Samar Kamel

World Art Dubai
Egyptian artist, curator and author - Samar Kamel

World Art Dubai in a conversation with Samar Kamel to inspire you with tips on decoration, art buying, and advice for emerging artists.

  • How have you developed your career?

I have always painted since I was a child, but then decided to do it professionally once I felt my art started to reflect a message. I have taken slow steady steps into the art world. I started exhibiting locally and then internationally with 46 exhibitions across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. A milestone in my career as an artist is having one of my art works becoming the permanent collection of the Bursa museum of Immigration history in Turkey. 

  • What inspires your work?

My work is about women, the cultural attitudes towards them, and the struggle they go through when trying to maintain balance between the modern perception of today and cultural values. I have managed to raise money periodically through my art to release women behind bars, jailed due to mishaps, women who are not criminals in the true sense, just being unable to pay their debts.

  • How does your work comment on current social issues?

My work adheres to social issues and mainly highlights women’s suffering whether through my books or my paintings, I am aiming to break stereotyping women, like labeling her as divorced, spinster, fat or any of the names used currently which does nothing but trap a woman in a cage made of words.

  • What advice would you give to first time art buyers?

My advice for first time art buyers is to understand that “Art should not match your sofa” they should look at an artwork and detach themselves from where should it be placed. Let the artwork speak to you, once it touches something inside you then own it. But, that only applies to people who are looking for art. On the other hand, there is retinal art or retinal paintings, a term attributed to the French-American artist Marcel Duchamp, who used it to refer to art, which appeals mainly, or exclusively to the eye rather than to the mind. Moreover, this can be applied if you intend to buy a decorative art piece that matches the furniture, and then it’s an easier task.

  • What basic principles should one follow to decorate their space?

It depends on one’s taste, for example, there are people with bohemian and colorful taste, and there are others who prefer earth tones. My suggestion is that if your furniture is colorful then opt for a toned down artwork and vice versa. If your furniture is in plain colors then you have a better chance to pick a colorful art work, as you do not want your space to be loud all the time, you need to have the choice of a relaxing area too.

  • What advice would you give emerging artists to cultivate their work?

Experiment, practice and paint all the time. Do not be afraid to try anything, be bold in your art, do not go with the flow so if you feel something paint it. Do not ever copy another artist, you will then lose your identity, instead be innovative, and introduce your own technique. Seek advice from fellow artists and believe in yourself.

  • Please share your experience about exhibiting at World Art Dubai.

I have been exhibiting at World Art Dubai since its first edition. Every year it is becoming better & more popular. WAD’s concept serves the community as it makes art accessible to everyone, which should be the case.

  • Why should anyone attend World Art Dubai?

World Art Dubai’s concept is making art affordable, in addition to the fact that it’s a family friendly event, with several activities and attractions. It’s an exciting and interesting place to hang out with friends and family as there is something for every one.

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