galleria magenta 52 – vimercate, milan, italy 26th january – 15th march, 2007

ahmed askalany is one of egypt’s most original younger generation artists. he was born in 1978 in a nubian village in southern egypt (nagi hammad in the governatorate of qena) and moved to cairo in 1995.

made of palm leaves woven with an ancient craft technique that has always been used in the villages to make baskets and ‘poor’ objects, his work eschews the lofty prerogatives of sculpture. it maintains traditional plastic forms, the sense of modelling, of volume and of representation. subjects typical of this young artist are animals or human figures, which acquire an embalmed, mummified look from his use of woven leaves. yet askalany’s particular skill is in his unerring ability to capture his subjects in an always profoundly natural, ‘real’ moment, gesture or attitude and stage them with frank candour and, sometimes, merciless irony.