Budding Egyptian artist, Chris Aboutar, infuses psychedelic and African music as well as dervishes and her love for the sea in her visual works.
While we see in the sea a materialised dream of summer days and soothing vacation - surfing, fishing, and maybe even a warm reminder of a sweet bonfire gathering or a party - Chris Aboutar, a budding Egyptian artist, sees far beyond that and takes to a canvas to unveil it to the rest of us.
Settled in Gouna, Aboutar has found in the sea lucid inspiration for her slightly punchy yet warmly familiar paintings. Her paintings, tending to different themes such as dervishes, African beauty, or simply abstract elements, easily give way to a sense of coherent interplay between emotions seen reflected in the brush strokes, colours, and the vague memory-evoking movements of the subjects.
Though Aboutar didn't major in art, and interestingly opted for French literature and history studies, her father has always encouraged her to pursue her passion for visual art. She started with pencil sketching, and then moved to acrylic painting, eventually taking classes in oil painting techniques.
Still life was the focus of her first attempts, but then her style grew more psychedelic. "Psychedelic music has a great effect on me," Aboutar tells us. "I love Pink Floyd, and my exposure to this genre of music affected my painting style." Her style became more abstract on account of this artistic collision, affecting even her choice for colours and their combinations in her works.
Music left its imprint on Aboutar's work for the second time when a friend introduced her to African music. "It’s such an interesting genre of music, and it made me realise that we are all African," she says. ‘We are Africans’ became among the most important messages Aboutar wantsto spread through her works. She believes in the importance of delivering significant messages through her artistic works. "I always write a different message at the back of every painting that I finish; sometimes it's a quote," she says. Through her works, the artist seeks to touch people’s souls using the different combination of shapes and colours she incorporates.Obviously, music is not Aboutar’s sole source of inspiration. She is also deeply inspired by Cairo’s Islamic sites and neighbourhoods. "I love that part of Cairo and I am very much inspired by the dancing dervishes, which I love painting," she shares with us.
Aboutar adds that she uses whatever she can get hold of to finalise her work and send the message across. "I work with everything," she says, "whether paint brushes or my own hands. I use broken glass and even sand from the sea." Creative and innovative, we couldn't help but wonder how she does it. "I live by the sea," Aboutar reveals. "So, you can imagine." Yes, we can only imagine how the sound of the crashing waves, like a calling, moves the most sensitive among us to create something beautiful - how treading in the cold sand inspires a refreshing love for all that Abotuar does. Women by the Sea was in fact the title of Aboutar's first exhibition held in Gouna.
Luckily, another exhibition showcasing the artist’s works will be held in a couple of months in Gouna. The main message that Aboutar, along with some other participating artists, hopes to get across is that of rebirth. "We will be disclosing the theme of rebirth and how we see it through nude art," Aboutar shares. It looks like we've found another reason to head over to Gouna sometime soon - this time it's an artsy one.
Check out Chris Aboutar's work on Facebook here.