Ahmed Askalany

Born in 1978 in Nag Hammadi, Upper Egypt, he currently lives and works in Cairo. Askalany’s work shows an explicit connection with traditional materials and craft methods associated with the ancient cultures of Egypt. His subjects include human figures and animals inspired by his native town and characterized by a preserved, mummies-like look. Characteristic of Askalany’s works are the aesthetic forms that place an emphasis on both structure and volume, as well as an innocent sense of isolation that reflects frankness, candor and a poetic sensitivity. Askalany's famous palm leaves sculptures are produced with simple techniques, similar to hair weaving, using natural colored palm leaves. By doing so, Askalany’s work challenges the very boundaries associated with the notion of what is perceived as crafts and the arts, and manages to respond and contribute to the complexity of contemporary artistic practice. Among other important exhibitions worldwide, Askalany represented Egypt at the 2009 Venice Biennal