The Primary Art’s Visions. “Dr. Amal Nasr”

Abd El Salam Eid was born at El-Hadara, the pulsating heart of Alexandria, in popular surroundings

that had been always thronged with noise and crowd with human warmth. He
grew a contentious child, carrying within his personality an early challenge, persistence,
and a sense of liberality, that remained a target to struggle for, along his life. An inquiring child, who
did not refrain of asking questions, vivid and disruptive. Therefore, it was always difficult to make
him contented. His parents removed rigid surveillance upon him (as imposed upon his elder brothers).
Thus, his early life acquired a free aspect that enabled him to spend his childhood as a released
cat rather a coddled child surrounded by continuous warnings. He knew the intimate relations
among his large family, which was giving him every now and then a beautiful meaning in life. That
free childhood is still flowing in his life until now. He used to play at the family old house cellar, with
his father’s tools, who were working at the refrigeration field. Instinctively, he started molding with
his hands, making solid forms, statuettes, rooms, and labyrinths from cork, and Styrofoam. Fairy
tales were not his imagination paradise but the art’s realm, which began to mold at that early age.
When Eid start to discover himself as an artist, it was easy to recollect all memories of his childish
play… his paradise lost… The plastic Art
At school, he was soon snapped (and in all his educational stages) by artwork teachers. He still
remember their names (men):Khamies, Mukhtar, Ali El Kersh, Abd El Haliem, and Ahmed Mustapha,
Also (women): Nawal, Badria, and Nagwa. Those who introduced him to the magic world of Art. He
draws a picture, trays to copy the world masterpieces, to pick up the alphabet of the drawing craft.
In addition, he participates at executing murals of the school’s interiors. At that time, the revolution
of july1952 was establishing a new era for Egypt, so the murals were reflecting the new slogan of
revolution: Unity, Order, and Work. The artwork room was the permanent refuge for our Artist ( as
usual he detested all other courses). His teachers were admiring his products, which gave him much
confidence, and pushed him for more shining with perseverance in coloring and drawing. During his
secondary school study, he concluded friendships with some graduates of the Faculty of fine Arts,
All of them were expecting that he would join that faculty. At that stage, his artistic expertise was not
limited to school activities. His artistic expertise never stopped at the school’s activities. Since that
time’ he used to accompany “ uncle Salama”, a barber in the vicinity and an amateur naive painter,
who was making his own primitive colors, hanging his works around him at his saloon, they used to
visit “El Shallalat Gardens” ( the waterfalls garden) to paint landscapes.
These varied experience, which he has acquired at early age, polished his talents, as it was an invisible
hand of fate that was paving the way in front of him. When he joined the faculty of fine arts,
1964, the “Generation of the Sixties” was at the peak of its cultural radiance, which attracted all
intellectuals, and fore shadowing a great transform in the cultural life of Egypt. It was a generation
that carried the burden of change, and search for a new Egyptian artistic identity.
At the faculty of fine art, he found himself among prominent professors, who were responding to
these radical changes in Egyptian Art such as: Hamed Eweis, Ahmed Osman, Kamel Mustapha, Seif
Wanly, mahmoud Mousa, Mustapha Abd El- Moety, and Adel El Masry. At the faculty, the magic
world of Art was opened before him, where he began running at the vast labyrinths of Art, with a
curious and adventurous spirit, a sustained quality of him. And soon he found himself soaring beyond
academic curricula. In addition, it was the time to realize various artistic styles and schools.
At the beginning he felt his way in a clear impressionistic traits, through which ,he discovered the
language of color as independent from the necessities of modeling and mass, which liberated and

enriched his palette . He then established a debate with Cezzane, visualizing the master’s achievements

in construction and respect of the surface, and moved with great admiration to Paul klee,
where he has been in touch with freshness and innocence, that admiration of Klee drove him to be
aware of symbolic significances. In addition, he admired the works of German expressionism pioneers:
Max Bechmann, Emile Nolde, and others. With them, he acquired the sense of developing
the color drama in order that the color alone can take up the expression, and thus could be liberated
from the pursuit reality. In The Works of Eid, there is a remaining echo of expressionism. He
proceeds for a subjective vision for the world, trying to rebuild it in it mysterious inner realm, as Herbert
Read said, his search for an eloquent expression has led him to African primitive and children
drawings. All that was concomitant with a n evident tendency towards a penetration of the peaceful
and neutral nature of the surface, in a trial to interrogate with various performances. It was also a
collage attempt that represented indications for what would happen in his artistic career… Myriads
of discoveries and over takings for traditional concepts of Art.
He found himself startled in the world of Picasso, his blue women with their distressed looks, their
meager, and an inherited bitterness, which was associated with humanity since the creation. Perhaps,
some of them were appearing, later on, among portraits; he painted during his scholarship to
Italy. He was also attracted to Picasso’s rose period, with its marginal figures, and their queer lives.
He has been overwhelmed by the Master’s drawings, in which he was inspired by the flavor of Greek
and Etruscan arts. Eid was contemplating the outstanding run of that great artist, who was in a
continuous intercontinental transfer, , charged with a passionate love for adventures. Now, when we
scrutinize the works of Abdel Salam Eid, with a deep insight, we can trace points of encounter with
the Great Artist. An extensive and varied experience of a peculiar scouting character.
Eid at that time, found himself involved with the surrealist trends, attached to Freud’s Psycho analysis,
also he get acquainted Colin Wilson’s book “The Outsider”. He was flung away, beyond horizons,
when he started to read Sartre, Camus, and colleridge. Their Philosophical writings left deep
impressions upon him, and had been echoed in his art works at that stage. No doubt that Existentialism,
Absurdum, and the world of possible seduced him. Classical Music, together with poetry,
then historical reading, together, was the main gates for his newborn consciousness. This time with
thirsty inquiries, that was in search of answers. He finished his studies at the faculty of fine art with
a graduation project named “Transformation”, all its components were pointing to an insisting aspiration
at a renaissance of a super Egyptian in his world vision after the tremor of 1967 relapse. The
project was carrying many indications of his future artistic concepts.

At early age, he was already acquiring the necessary awareness, and the firm belief that Art would

be his sole destination and that may give clue about why he kept every clip he has drawn, or paint
since his childhood. Once he called them “the clips of love”, while he was collecting his old papers,
as he has nominated for the state prize of merit. Actually he kept all his sketches, his studies and
impromptus, with all his catalogues, posters, exhibition‘s notes and press articles. He was constructing
his artistic memory, putting landmarks along his extensive artistic road, to be a document,
some day, for a serious voyage amid the realm of Art.
In Fact, Abd El-Salam Eid has driven all towards Art… A choice that is worth of life itself.

 

Dr. Amal Nasr