After seeing her work at Vintage Furniture and Object Emporium, we immediately met Mahi Tarek, a 30-year-old Fine Arts Graduate whose work is so powerful and beautiful. Mahi has always been into art and fashion. She took an illustration course and started doing portraits. Her paintings are a mixture of feminine elements that roar with beauty, power and freedom.
1. What do you do for a living?
I work for a new fashion initiative that is still in the launching phase in Egypt. I’ve always been in love with fashion and anything related to.
2. Can an artist live off their art alone? Or must there be a fulltime job supporting?
I’ve lived off of my art alone for the past 3 years. I just recently got this job because this fashion project is something I’ve always wanted to do, so when the chance presented itself I took it while keeping it parallel to my painting.
3. What do you think is the most integral part of an Artist’s work?
People always underestimate the amount of work and effort an Artist invests in an artwork, so it’s really important to have a good support system that shows appreciation and understands that the artwork is a piece of yourself.
4. As a female Egyptian Artist, do you think your work is encouraged enough?
No not at all, especially because it’s different. It’s incredibly hard for an upcoming Egyptian female artist to establish herself in a field that is dominated by the few that get all the publicity, while others have no means to compete and no places to showcase their talents.
5. What’s your inspiration?
I like strong empowered women. I think women are mysterious creatures so I try to show that in most of my paintings.
6. What’s your most inspirational destination?
I love anywhere that has beaches and forests, that’s all I could ask for. And of course the city of art; Rome.
7. Where are your favorite art hubs in Egypt?
I love Arts-Mart, Safar khan and Vintage. Amuse Concept store and Asfour El Nile are also great places.
8. What’s the best piece of advice you can give an upcoming artist?
Don’t conform and stay dedicated. Not everyone is going to like or appreciate your art at the beginning, but if you persevere you’ll get there eventually. And don’t imitate, do your own thing and experiment, you never know what you’re capable of till you’re out of your comfort zone.