Bird's Eye // Mohamed Adel Dessouki
Who is Mohamed Adel Dessouki?
Mohamed Adel Dessouki is an Egyptian artist and architect currently based in Al-Khobar. He is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University. His current body of work focuses on depicting the details of everyday life in the streets of his home city, Alexandria, in large-scale graphite drawings drawn from a bird's eye perspective.
How would he describe his art?
My current body of work can be categorized as ‘genre art,' or art that represents everyday life scenes. I basically draw graphite drawings that depict large-scale intricate portrayal of passers-by in the streets of my home city, Alexandria, Egypt, from a bird’s eye perspective. In these drawings I focus on humans rather than their urban context, celebrating the ordinary and the spontaneous in their everyday life.
I come from an architectural background. Drawing has always been my means of inquiry, investigation and understanding. In a way, from an architectural point of view, my drawings can be regarded as 'scaled orthographic drawings' that document and present things from the 'top view.' However, in architectural drawings, buildings and their surroundings are the main subject and people are represented as a part of the 'architectural entourage,' basically for the purpose of indicating the human scale; In my drawings, people ARE the subject.
The scenes in my current work are not staged. In the preparatory phase of my work, I rely on photography to capture the passers-by. I take hundreds of photographs from which I pick characters or situations I find interesting to work on. Then, I make some research in order to select or complete the details of people's attires and things they carry or ride. Diving into the personal details of each character in my drawings has been a unique experience of understanding and compassion. In this respect, I consider the large-scale black-and-white drawing a medium that can convey such meanings to the others. The aerial point of view keeps persons in the drawings anonymous, a condition that, I believe, would increase others' engagement and interaction.
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