Khaled Hafez

Mixed-media artist Khaled Hafez draws on legend and fiction to explore dichotomies that exist within popular culture in his native Egypt. Themes including secular versus religious, male versus female and sacred versus commercial are evident in his paintings and video works.

Hafez recycles and manipulates images from media and advertising that have entered into popular consciousness, often juxtaposing them on canvas with ancient gods and goddesses. His work is inspired by the movement inherent in Ancient Egyptian paintings, where all painted elements–figures, shapes and animals–were in motion rather than caught in a static pose. “In contemporary culture dominated by a century of Western film and animation, the similarity between these ancient and contemporary forms of the kinetic is intriguing to me, and a focal aspect of my research,” Hafez said in a statement carried by Culture Hall. Goddesses convey ideas of female supremacy, with male figures usually appearing in smaller form in a challenge to the prevailing sexism in mainstream Egyptian culture. In works prior to the Jan 25 revolution, Hafez also juxtaposed military and civilian figures within a dense, suspense-filled composition.

Hafez’s work has been showcased widely in group exhibitions in the United States, Greece, Germany, Belgium, Britain, France, China, Bosnia and Italy.