Published in catalog Arrivi e Partenze_Mediterrano, GIUDA edizioni (2012)
Numerous artistic activities, hard to label under any one category, are attributable to the pseudonym Ganzeer. He produces and edits a highly popular online magazine, does graffiti, is a designer and creates fonts and many other things which he refuses to give up just to find himself “trapped by a category”, as he himself has often declared.
After coming to the attention of the public at large for his graffiti on the walls of Cairo during the days of the revolution, Ganzeer has actually never stopped. Everything interests him, from fanzines to digital art,
and in common with many others like himself worldwide he is equally good at all of them.
Arrested and then released for having drawn a tank aiming at a man on a bicycle carrying bread, he belongs to a generation of Egyptian artists who see no separation between political and artistic action. “People forget,”
he stated when he was arrested, “that the streets are people.
They think the streets are a sort of entity controlled by the official government. I feel it’s important to remind citizens that the streets are actually their own property”.
A very clear principle lies at the heart of Ganzeer’s work: there is no public art, Street Art, without a message. And this conviction goes so deep that he does not sign his own street works. The preparatory figure created for the catalogue, to be subsequently reinterpreted and exhibited on a main thoroughfare in Ancona, is in this sense explicit: a turbaned man visibly subjected to fatigue, almost resigned, with a look of atavistic weariness and a T-shirt referring to global culture, is carrying a weight or is a modern caryatid. The writing in Italian plays on the ambivalence of the site where the image will be displayed, a highly frequented underpass.
Bridges are built by immigrants, a subjugated and docile workforce.
But it also harks back to the rhetoric of international cooperation where this phrase is enunciated with persuasive and oratorical facility, and then its meaning disappears when international diplomacy and foreign policies of the various countries take action and decide.
All works by Ganzeer and other graffitists can be viewed by following
the map he created, http://ganzeer.com/cairostreetart/index.html: this map is of interest not only to tourists and spectators, because you can also see the opinions and comments of passers-by who tweet their impressions of what they have seen.
For Arrivals and Departures in Ancona he will be doing a wall in the city, adding to the open air “collection” that includes works by Blu, Paper Resistance, Ericailcane and many others.
1982 in Giza, Egypt
Lives in Cairo, Egypt
Group exhibitions ( last 3 years)
2010 Cairo Documenta - Cairo, Egypt
Noord - Mediamatic, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Why Not? - Palace of the Arts, Cairo, Egypt