Carmelo Strano





Critic Text by Carmelo Strano


"Along his search, Gamal runs two roads. Two dialectical and synchronic positions. As synchronic, they give the sense of the Egyptian artist’s total world. One dimension is related to the strong interest that Gamal has always had for the scenography (which he has studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan). He has made the most of this experience. He did it for the paintings and for installations. Mostly his paintings are poised between abstraction (tending to informal) and figuration and they are a sort of colour’s performance, nothing else. I mean that the colour is never instrumental in relation to any assumption or message. Even when the figure shows marked contours, to it is not given any meaning. In these cases, the risk is to linger on it with complacency or decorative approach. That is how to establish a loosening of the colour’s power in favour of a figurative story that, it soon becomes clear, to Gamal it doesn’t interest. Therefore, the scenografic dimension is translated into the colour’s performance. The other aspect of this scenografic dimension is given by the installations. Into these, Gamal Meleka obtains an interesting balance between expression modes and message. Installation is not absolutist, it consists of a set of formal and objectual elements targeted to a thesis. Obviously, this thesis will be strongly affirm, if the language used is strong.

For installations Gamal puts formal inventiveness and dynamism in succession of elements. Also, if the colour is an ancient subject but ever actual, for his installions, Gamal employs technological materials, from industrial to informatics, as it is well demonstrated by the work that he has created two years ago as part of the Biennale of Cairo.
I come back and I recover the original proposal of the two dialectical and synchronic positions that underlies all Gamal’s research. One position is refered to the scenography about which I have just said. The other position is, as announced, the opposite. It is not the performance but the stratification, it is not the emersion but the immersion. And we are to works that are proposed in this publication and to whom in the last four years, Gamal dedicates himself with particular decision and happiness. The informal approach is still the protagonist. Only that it, rather than vehicular tout court the artist’s mood, it acts building. Instead the general and impregnable artist’ mood, this informal approach expresses his sense of culture and history. In these works we might call "dynamic layering", Gamal expresses himself with the awareness of his own culture, the ancient Egyptian tradition. Usually, into Gamal, the informal approach has had the Western influence. In these "dynamic layering" this western influence is strongly loosened and the informal approach is combined with the Egyptian culture’s "sense" rather than with Egyptian imagery. Gamal aims to give, or better to express, sedimentation and stratification of his culture. But there is not a formal elaboration or mental meditation. He creates but with the instinct, loyal to his expressive connotations. Gamal stratifies with resins that determine thicknesses and volumes. They are gilded or silver and then "flavored" with antiqued patinas. The layered story is often supported by wood, that accentuates the result of work which is in the same time painting and sculpture. Sculpture as bas or high relief, in any case far from the round. These dynamic layering sometimes are on white, ultramarine blue, grey, monochrome background; in other occasions they drown into a polychromy of vivid or dull hues. If generally the bottom remains the same, sometimes the colour is dynamized, shaked, and it is infiltrated into the layering’ folds. But the story remains dry, harsh, almost as it is an historical story."

 Carmelo Strano




il critico d'arte Osama Afifi




 Meleka's icon of Eternity 
By Osama Affifi

Beware of artist Gamal Melika! He loves playing tricks on the viewers and art critics. Meleka loves trying every trick in the book. His art displays very childish frivolities. For example, giving the impression that his elements are moving towards the south, he deceptively points to the opposite direction. Likewise, he frivolously points to the west, although the east is the direction. Secret potentials of Meleka's admirable technique and substances are too difficult to decode. He paints—behind layers of his 'intriguing substances—creatures bore in his soul; his unfulfilled dreams; his fears; his anxieties, his roots and emotions. It was late art critic Ahmed Fouad Selim, who realized that Meleka's art is frivolous. Introducing the artist's exhibition in Akhenaton Gallery, Selim said: "Meleka is an artist, who is trying to establish his identity in that area, which lies between existence and non-existence."
Selim gave cleverly a brief account of Meleka's artistic, human and dramatic experiment since its beginning in the 1960s. The boy took drawing up in the Club of Talents. His instructors were artist Ragheb Ayyad, Hamed Nada and Ghaleb Khater. Meleka also studied at Brera Academy of Art in Milan
Meleka's painting, scenography, sculpture and installations display a Hamlet-like enactment to draw a line between existence and non-existence. However, I oppose critics, including Selim, who categorized Meleka as an artist, who stands in an area between abstract art and representation; modernity and heritage; and formative art and leitmotif
Meleka does not allow any of the opposites to overwhelm his experiment. Rather, he blends them and dips his brush in this mixture to paint the reality, which he appreciates. That is why his art, visible in accumulating layers of substances, techniques and experiments, reveals as Roger Garaudy had put it, realism without coasts. In other words, Meleka introduces a realism visible to him alone—not to anyone else. Visionaries, such as painters, poets and musicians, see what is invisible to ordinary people. For example, it is the artist, who ties the tree, the electric wire and the café chair with a magic [invisible) cord. The viewer will not realize that these objects are scattered in the surface. It is the artist's individual vision, which reassembles the reality, and rediscovers an extraordinary relationship between objects. The artist's reality is completely different from that, which is visible to the ordinary viewer
French philosopher Victor Basch should be acknowledged for stating that aestheticians, art critic and essayists do not allow their senses to influence their meditations and thoughts. The artist's chief task is to help decode aesthetic phenomenon to help ordinary viewers have better understanding in this respect
. ِArt critic and aestheticians, they should not by any means be subjective
It is Meleka's lines, colours, pastes and forms, which activate frivolities in his painting. They are his spokespersons. I mean that Melika introduces his optical vocabularies to communicate with the viewer smoothly—without an interlocutor or mediator. Therefore, it is the essayist's chief task to shed light on the aesthetic language in the work
Meleka introduces a panoramic display of his unique vision of the world. He is a strong voice of the beauty of the existence. He is seeking to establish a strong edifice, which could overshadow the ugliness of non-existence
Meleka's new exhibition echoes the Sphinx's hums of history. He uses his unique vocabulary, languages and motifs to highlight the beauty of the existence in the face of the ugliness of the non-existence
The Sphinx, who is the guardian of the gate of eternity, stands at the illusive line of the living and the dead; of the glowing physical existence and the frigid atmosphere of the intriguing metaphysical world
In his exhibition, Meleka is attempting to provide answers to several questions about sophisticated topics and arguments about humanity and art. For example, the Sphinx is the intense display of hints and insinuations inherited by generations. The monumental work is a mythological eyewitness of the past and the present. But how would an artist base his work entirely on another artwork
Also regardless of its mythological features (a lion's body and a human head) Egyptians and foreigners across the world are treating the sphinx with the easy familiarity as an epical creature squatting in his place around all the time. Aristotle had said that the epical artwork should not be a copy of the existing reality. According to Aristotle's advice, the artist should create metaphysical and mythological creatures, which could dim living and visible counterparts
Accordingly, Meleka deals in his exhibition with the Sphinx in its capacity as an artwork and an epical creature, too. Meleka transformed the Sphinx to an icon intense with indicators, referents and signs, which stir up an admirable and intriguing atmosphere in the work. In his attempt to reveal the invisible elements behind the icon, Meleka apparently seeks to decode the secrets hidden behind colours and substances of such a monumental artwork
He revealed creatures, which are multiplying and trying to break the mystery of the Sphinx. Corners of Meleka's paintings are the birthplaces of his creatures and shades
Meleka chiefly celebrates the human dimension in his Sphinx. He depicted the statue's majestic human head. His technique is influenced by several schools of ancient Egyptian art. It is known that miniatures of the Sphinx in museums in different cities in the world display techniques and delicate or monumental details, which were popular among ancient artisans at that time. Further, some paintings Meleka made depict the Sphinx with a beautiful and delicate head of a woman. It seems that the artist is repudiating sex discrimination
Blue, brown, crimson, and interlaced yellow and pink highlighted the iconic Sphinx's message over times. Meleka cleverly transformed the time-honoured Egyptian icon to his self portrait, which is throbbing with the artist's sufferings, transformations and changes; the artist eventually shed light on his estranged self. His self appears to be striving to break the fetters of cultural and intellectual dualities of globalization. It is also apparent that the artist is struggling to come to terms with his self, which is standing majestically at the separation line between the beauty of the existence and the ugliness of non-existence
A struggle between Meleka's straight, rough and tamed lines play beautiful melodies echoing in his surprising shades and his bold skimming. He created a contemporary icon intense with worries, which are overwhelming contemporary man. Meleka's icon also displays techniques of modern art, superb performance and the epic of the Sphinx, globally known as the guardian of civilization—since the Nile started to flow through its course
I am confident that Meleka's new experiment has opened the door of a new epical stage in his work. He deepened his artistic identity and has gained a stronghold at the separation area between existence and non-existence

           OSAMA AFFIFI  


Megahed   Elazab


    Megahed   Elazab
    Al Megalla  08/2014

Gamal Meleka is an Egyptian artist. Resident in Italy for more than 30 years, and is the only foreigner winning nine medals of President of the Italian Republic, and three of his Holiness Pope John Paul, the Golden pen of Ravenna, Italian Critics Award sculpture 2011.

Artistic works, variety, between painting and sculpture using different materials and unique performance techniques and more dynamic conflicted between shadow and light in an intimate and familiar, between mass and cutting her free bilateral together, mass embraces the vacuum and vacuum compressor block simultaneously, while maintaining the sense of vacuum, despite his long and estrangement and global fame and awards throughout his career, he lectured lasting not moving away from being an Egyptian, or optical storage technical drawing roots spanning History and origin of rural and realize of pictures and references and symbolic tales and folks and nostalgia is not interrupted

Megahed   Elazab



Samaa Yhia




      Samaa Yhia
      Al Halal 04/2014

Gamal Meleka
Strove through his journey with art that started in Egypt since his childhood in Cairo Center for gifted. Where he studied by senior professors  "Ragheb Ayad – Hamed Nada-Ghalib kahter." To made his mark and its impact derived from authentic heritage and affected and interactive experience of his life in Italy, the heritage of the past for him is only part of the present and the surrounding environment, this environment is not the past but present in his mind, his experiences and his imagination, his past is part of the knowledge of the present. Thus linking the characteristic fused his vision and his personality, his beliefs and his imaginations, dreams and discovers the amazing trajectory that characterized his career through its evolution since the start
until now
The human being and its relationship to time and what impact is the dominant idea of Meleka art. The works are scenes from a flowing rhythm and harmony between man and nature surrounding a generator so see the circular time, renewed life and monitor the effects of the temporal body, soul and is explained clearly in the work of the artist all of sculpture or photography. He opted for his sculpture of formations from deep history, and mummies of Pharaohs. Not governed by technical creativity in composition only, ignoring the laws of nature and the physical component, because all these factors lose their relevance to the flow of emotions in expressive movements that are compatible for these sculpture
It melts and dismantling within the article for his statues with spaces and grooves into the Aether and time and place formidable State of harmony with the infinity express the souls of his temporal and spatial boundaries and Existentialism, and all relative concepts governing the human body and skip to the nature of the human spirit
The statue of Meleka is not in silence, but also just to put a fixed static decision body in motion or is truncated sliced off for moment taken by the body in motion such as the freezing of certain specific sense of moment, and we here sought an artist to express movement and the rhythm of life is not only external physical external event but rather a spiritual movement inward Internal primarily represent our humanity and our material emanating from our thoughts and our minds and our feelings as human beings, and Passion has different memories, memory and all concepts
gives meaning and understanding of body language. And terminates its artist sculptured light we view from bust, cavity light so hard the eternal which does not change, but the Earth with their lives
and the places about which
supports the concept of the absolute and the renewed spirit and mission at the same time..

        SAMAA YHIA


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