Khaled Hafez: Moving Forward by the Day
17 March – 02 May 2013
Khaled Hafez explores the complex nature of the Egyptian identity in his first ever solo exhibition in the United Arab Emirates, Moving Forward by the Day. Inspired by the sacred funerary texts of the Book of the Dead (c. 1550 BCE), the paintings in this series exhibit Hafez’s trademark iconography of fashion models and body builders collated from glossy magazines and intertwined with symbols of Ancient Egypt – most notably Hathor, the ancient Egyptian cow goddess – to create hybrid divinities worshipped in a contemporary culture obsessed with the body. Through his work, Hafez confronts viewers with ironic renderings of cultural tropes, as he believes that ‘we are at a point in history where there is cultural recycling: visual, conceptual…’ The artist adopts the laws of ancient Egyptian painting in his works, using flat, graphic surfaces and kinetic human and animal forms arranged to tell a story. By drawing on symbols and forms culled from ancient Egyptian iconography and international contemporary culture, Hafez ultimately creates compositions recognizable to both local and international audiences.