Monday, October 23, 2006

Illustrated Fantasies

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Falaky Theatre to attend the premier of Attar's new play. It was a delicately constructed high budget sham, but that's besides the point. After the reception I saw a guy sitting in a chair, alone, hunched over a notebook, sketching. I'd been recently very intrigued with illustration and animation and occasionally fantasize about a project that renders Cairo life into a comic book, graphic novel or a cartoon. After doing a little research I found a couple of interesting designers, Mohammed Fahmy in particular came to my attention through an ad campaign I was recently part timing on. I like him because he utilizes both photography and illustration and is stylistically eclectic. He also publishes an online design-based magazine that invites graphic designers worldwide to submit works centered around a particular theme. Another group is File Club who a member of which I believe was at a time related to Nermin Hammam's design arm Equinox. All of the aforementioned epitomize a sort of a new contemporary funky Arab cool design that draws inspiration from traditional, orientalist, cartoon and pop art concepts.

But this post isn't about them, it's about an illustrator named Essam Abdulla, who I saw sitting in a chair, alone, hunched over a notebook, sketching mad patterns gnawing on his membrane. Campus Magazine did a small exposé on him in their last issue, (the very same one Forsooth graces the pages of ) and printed a couple of his images, one of which has Mickey Mouse, amongst other things, emerging from a guy's penis.

His work draws faint but really interesting comparisons to Gazzar's nightmarish sketches. Check out his animation below called "Assortment of Undigested Seafood" on youtube. If this link doesn't work then go directly to youtube and search Undigested Seafood. It's disturbed, violent, nervous, haunting yet cheeky and strangely endearing...I love it!


Forsoothsayer said...

i was super disturbed by the penis thing. as must owners of penii be!

La Gitana said...

I've met this guy before and I've seen his art at AUC. Very interesting stuff.