Being influenced by contemporary artists like Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach, Aya Elfallah directs her flaming talent towards figurative mono-color paintings. Going through her darkest times losing her baby boy, this strong woman never gave up and decided to live vibrantly, investing in her talent until she became one of the greatest Egyptian artists of her generation. We visited Aya’s latest art exhibition “Backyard” at Gezira Art Center where we were struck by her bleeding colors and alive abstract patterns.
“As much as going through this experience was painful but it immensely influenced my work, without it I wouldn’t be able to create these cheerful and joyful pieces”
“I started drawing my first abstract painting after I lost Yassin. It was something totally different from my previous style, but I felt the only way to cope with this terrible loss was to add more color to my life and to my art,” she tells. “As much as going through this experience was painful but it immensely influenced my work, without it I wouldn’t be able to create these cheerful and joyful pieces,” she adds.
Having recently returned from a trip to the Ivory Coast and became a mother to a two year old baby girl Aya’s work has been booming with colors more than ever. “I set the colors next to the canvas and let Hana experiment, then I add the final touches to make the painting visually pleasant. The painting doesn’t have to be grand or poetic but it needs to look balanced,” she explains.
“Every piece of this collection is part of my backyard and my daughter’s childhood.”
Her latest collection, entitled “Backyard” is highly influenced by her daily life with Hana “Every piece of this collection is part of my backyard and my daughter’s childhood. We spent most of our days together playing around and drawing, surrounding ourselves with a lot of positive energy and colors,” she says.
Having begun exhibiting when she was still in university, Aya’s work has become more recognizable, regardless of the subject of her art. Speaking of the challenges female contemporary artists face in Cairo, Aya had a lot to say, “There are definitely many obstacles female artists go through and I have been through many, but there is no doubt that there are a lot of creative and powerful female fighters who set their minds to a plan and they eventually make it” she says.
Having swayed more towards her vibrant art, Aya explains that social media has played a vital role in reaching people. “There is no doubt that social media has had a great effect in presenting my art to people. Now you can simply showcase your work on Instagram and receive very constructive criticism,” she explains.
Backyard is running till the 4th of January, make sure to check out Aya’s mesmerizing work.