About Reda Abdel Rahman
Born in Ismailia, Egypt and having studied at the University of Minya at the College of Fine Arts, being surrounded by outstanding Pharonic monuments and Coptic monasteries left a lasting impression on Reda Abdel Rahman, one of Egypt’s leading contemporary artists. It has resulted in his artistic expression focusing on the relationship between what he regards as his ancient Egyptian heritage and the demands of contemporary life.
One of the key focal points in his work is that happiness, indeed “a good life,” are intricately related to what is grown and gleaned from the fields of Egypt and the Nile valley, and hence serves as a reoccurring theme in his art. Reda’s work draws strength from the nurturing Nile which serves as a source for his creativity.
Also, unlike much of contemporary Arab art, Reda has been seen as ground-breaking in that he draws and presents to us the naked or semi-naked female figure in his pictures, believing profoundly that women are central to the well-being of the family which is a commonly held value in Egyptian society.
Through Reda’s work we see the combination of Pharonic and decorative motifs. He draws a direct relationship to the hieroglyphs that the ancients left behind. Taking this further and incorporating the ancient traditions, he has designed many mosaics that decorate many cities throughout Egypt. Indeed, his work can take on monumental proportions, whether it is large canvases or murals, depicting scenes that are of old yet at the same time new. More recently he has powerfully focused on the continuing Egyptian revolution following the events of January 2011.
Not only has Reda enjoyed a prolific and international career in the Arts but he has also encouraged others by participating in a number of varied initiatives designed to promote artists and the Egyptian art scene. In this regard, he has been integral to the formation of internationally recognized events such as the Luxor Painting Symposium and the formation of the annual Aswan Sculpture Symposium. He has also led the Fustat workshops in Old Cairo that brings together a range of artists from around the Middle East. Reda also established an art magazine and curated a gallery in downtown Cairo, both of which were titled Portrait.
Reda was an important founding artist in the acclaimed interfaith CARAVAN arts initiative, the hosted annual the CARAVAN Festival of the Arts. He is an ongoing participant artist in the CARAVAN exhibitions as he seeks to use the Arts as a means to build bridges between the East and West, and between their creeds and cultures. His artistic career has taken him around the world, from Latin America to Europe.