Sat, 10/31/2009 - 16:16
“It looks like a brain damaged six year old drew this!” said the infamously controversial head of the Patriotic Art Committee.
Khallik Watani shouted these words while angrily looking at a three meter wide plain canvas boasting four purple squiggles and smudged bird feces. The modern art gallery harboring the painting was mysteriously burned down the following day after 60 state security officers publicly set fire to it.
“These are the days we live in,” said renowned contemporary artist Helmy Hassas, famous for exhibiting bits of his recently deceased wife’s corpse on his acclaimed series of plain orange canvases. “I had hoped to immortalize my wife through art literally,” explains Hassas.
However, Hassas and his peers may soon witness the end of contemporary art in Egypt if Watani gets his way. Watani is calling for "a return to more meaningful art" and has already succeeded in changing universities’ art curricula to emphasize the drawing of pyramids, tributes to the 6 October War and - lest critics accuse him of limiting the scope of art - also geometric shapes and even flowers.
“I won’t stand to watch someone who has the talent of a senile monkey call himself an artist”, said the furious Watani as he vigorously picked his nose, ironically using the outcoming dried nasal mucus to create an abstract masterpiece as he smeared it across his white shirt.
For students of the internationally recognized Ecole Des Beaux Arts of Shobra, Watani is a figure of increasing controversy.
Bakinam Shebeita, one of the many students who are extremely distressed at the new measures, shared her constructive criticism regarding the subject, "uf ba2a i don't understand ya3ni what do they waunt?"
On the other hand, some were in favor of Watani's progressive, modern thinking. “I was a fan of abstract contemporary artists like Monet,” says student Hamada El Ota, “but after listening to Dr. Watani’s arguments, I’m starting to realize that using art to express your inner most self freely is simply not what straight people should do.”