Dr. Amal Nasr
Abd El-Salam Eid shouldered his own way in a paralleled approach with the experience of
Mounir Kanaan’s collage in Egypt. If the experience of Eid has known collage in the sense
of raw materials and different things, he launched that needed capacity into his vast imagination,
to encompass all things and raw material in his artwork; we can then find some of these
works of art. Some are protruding a little of the surface, and some are modeled in three dimensional
forms, with the artist’s celebration for the presence of a coherent solid and its extending mass out of
the surface. He also paves the way for that distinguished presence. Meanwhile, he confirms its form.
There are also some additives that are integrated weaved, colored and immersed in a new medium,
managed with dexterity, because the artist is looking for a crossing with it to a new orbit.
But what I am going to refer to is that sort of collage that adopts only “paper”… Paper and all those
varied technological handlings of the artists that would grant unprecedented discoveries…!! .When
Eid, spontaneously tears his paper, during work, and when the light falls upon the tears paper edge
folds, with their tender layers, he began to detect the paper’s capacity, in spite of its delicateness,
particularly when he start to treat it with colors, the paper begins to pick the charcoal tiny particles,
or the veils of colored material. The density and mass of the paper start revealing themselves, and
how they receive light, likewise they receive charcoal particles, dispersed upon paper by the artist.
Abd El-Salam Eid handles paper with a mighty merge of the colored material with palm that picks
within its folds the color pulse. Then the paper edges start to pick the most detailed “Chiaroscuro”
tones. The artist reveals the inner layers of the paper, thus creating graduations and bulks within theframe of that slender paper, which could be a pure transparent like a pearl, or rough when scratched
by a sharp pencil edge, in a rapid rushed lines, that transfer its neutral state, turning its silence into
a glamour. Then, he is coming back to establish a dialogue with paper by a skilful I remove, scrape,
delete erase and unfold, adding what he sees of figures that have been emerged from another papers
tearing. Some renderings would be revealed, others would stay veiled the beautiful contrast
comes here within and through these sorts of contradictions between white areas (without history)
and areas that have been replanted with various renderings, which articulate breathtaking visual
Eid has the capacity to raid on the paper’s surface, in a bold assault, drives it to enunciate, and
reveal its mysteries. To achieve such goals, he starts adding successive performances, in such a
way that the surface would possess a history with superimposed varied renderings… then the artist
start to embark on his exciting trip, and it’s a real cruise for exploration through collage and decollage,
and the successive layers of cut out and addition, he attains a certain “performance state” for
the surface. Upon the appearance of new aspects during this trip, the artist begins to deal with it
on various levels: linearly, symbolically, and figuratively…. Then, these aspects start to reveal their
varied suggestions, amid a network of rich visual relationships.
Via his technique, addition of parts of paper, in their varied forms to the original space of the work,
some of that space may be already occupied and worked out; the artist combines two different
domains, and works them out with dexterity to be a whole unit. The additives could be a previous
image that has been already turned and demolished, and also it could be an onset for new building,
that represents a surprise (new discovery) for the artist, who is fond of venturing the process of
demolishing and building Abd-El-Salam Eid believes that all things and forms can be otherwise than
we used to know, they can have other lives more interesting and more eloquent in their new look
than the first state. Each clip in its peculiar treatments, and its colorful and lined existence, as it has
come from a unique realm with all its implications, suggestions, and visual donations.
The artist combines between these domains in a new. space, thus he create an overlap between
several visions in one view, or he pushes a new plastic domain inside another one, giving two levels
which are relepteting with imagination…he sees reality indeed but through interfered unreasonable
hypotheses..!! Abd El-Salam Eid doesn’t depend upon what the collage colored paper are granting
to him- as it would be always the case with other collage experiences, where multiple and varied
color, due to their varied sources usually allow certain contradictions, resulting from their
unexpected encounter in new dimensions and strange accord. But Eid surprisingly achieves all that
and more, with one paper only…!!
He celebrates the paper’s life, its various representations when it arises with its own music and its
day or evening lights. Inspiring dim light, strong dazzled light, another one of joy, or pale and sad,
delightful , and mysterious as it came from the openings of an ancient cave or radiating pearl light
as a reflection of the sun rays on the surface of seawater at sunset, and a sharp bright daylight.
Unexpectedly, in the collage art of Eid, we encounter a lot of, figures coming from outside, and sol-
ids extending outside the space of the artwork, with impossible perspectives. The architecture here
has an legible presence, and a symbolic cultural import for kingdoms, that are under construction,
and other kingdoms that are tumbling down…sunken ships, and shattered masts, archeological ziggurats,
buildings and ruins, broken columns, open gates. For the inflict, departing ships that moved
away. Only sails still seen on the horizons, collapsing towers reflect the erosion of contemporary
civilization and for casting its fall to become an ancient ruin.
It is the cycles of civilization’s emergence and extinction. As observed through history. A study that
we shouldn’t forget.
Abd El-Salam Eid carries these buildings to an atmosphere of celestial blue free of details, but it is
charged in depth and transparency, in the same Time it is an infinite space. Sometimes he gives his
skies a red color of bloody impact, or grants a tragic depth, carrying it on a multi colored ray, or he
immerses all his firmaments in an expectant silence.
He paints the “hollow city without soul”, in the ambitious mirror of the age, which although overcrowded;
it filled the heart of its human beings with fear and with a sense of solitude and loneliness.
Often he paints different spatial figures that are randomly descending, different and varied. They are
readily exramoive to reveal nuclear wars and unknown destinies… we must be afraid of them.
It’s a deep sense of tragedy and comedy as experienced by modern man, and this drives the artist
to give solutions and often a surprising predictive vision. The collage artworks of Eid are reminiscent
of the “raft of the Medusa” and the unknown cities of Gericault, tragedies of De la croix, and storm
scenes of Turner, where earth is mixed with sky… he provides abstract but replete with drama and
romance, Here we are aware that the artist is not only providing his superior performance capabilities,
and his peculiar techniques, but he is considering them media, through which he is presenting
a serious thoughts. No doubt that, as the debate language ascends, the idea becomes more evident
and legible. The dialogue’s language here is the plastic vocabulary, which the artist is well experienced
with, and has had a long career of diligence and research, which bestowed that energy upon
him, to elucidate his thoughts and presents them in an effective way. There are parallel intellects
with all demolition and building procedures. An intellect concerned with issues and worries, through
which, and in a peculiar vocabulary, he presents warns and predictions…the defeat of certain values,
and the emergence of new ones… fall, incidents, and storms…as he treat collage as a material that
could interact with intellectual implications and psychological projections, that are disseminated by
the artist. Tearing the paper gives a sense of demolition that seems consistent with the paradoxical
situation experienced by the contemporary man, whose life and values are vulnerable to myriads
of knocks and strokes, that are bringing him down, as far as he is drenched in contradictions…his
contemporary life offered him suffering, wrapped in a cloak of comfort and luxury…!!
Abd El-Salam Eid is not providing collage as an assemblage, paste of fragments and paper claps,
that are overlapped, but he brings out the lives of several pictures that are breedings dozens of
Dr. Amal Nasr