Amina Salem: Painting the Female Enigma!

Amina Salem is a talented young artist and a mother. When she was a little girl, she used to draw and paint with watercolors by instinct without even knowing the rules of drawing. Having been fascinated by Gauguin and Degas throughout her life, she always found herself attracted to painting portraits and humans in general, mostly women.


Painting is Amina’s passion and is a kind of meditation to her, separating herself from the outside world into something she is fond of. We talked to Amina to decode the aspiring artist within.


Describe your art in 3 words:

My art reflects beauty, positivity, and femininity


Why do you like focusing on women in your paintings?

I like drawing women in different forms; nothing can represent beauty more than women. Women are beautiful, fragile, yet can endure the toughest conditions in life. I like when I show in paintings women subjected to many hardships like poverty and extreme conditions and make them smile or show them in a positive, colorful way. I also like when I represent women in a soft, romantic, passionate way. It brings a lot of positive emotions and love


Do you think female artists are encouraged in Egypt the way they deserve?

I don’t see any reason for women to be discouraged. However I think there aren’t enough platforms and channels for developing the art scene. I believe an artist has to find her own encouragement. For example from fans and people who like and appreciate the artist’s work. In fact, magazine interviews like this one and other signs of developing interest in my work is a sort of encouragement to me.


What obstacles do you face as a young artist?

The most obvious obstacles come in the form of negativity towards some of my paintings because of the female form, however this has to do with culture and the lack of distinction between art form and provocative imagery. It’s not really an obstacle for me but I think it’s an obstacle for art in Egypt in general. Another obstacle could be that there aren’t enough facilitations for young artists to develop and showcase their work, in other words young artists in a sense have to find their way in the dark.


In your opinion, how can we develop the art scene in Egypt?

Education I think. It would have to find a way into national school curricula. Not just art, but art history, rules and theory, and how to develop creativity, which Egyptians are already very good at.


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