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The Evocative Art of Portraiture: An Interview With Hayam Elsayed

Graceful and expressive, the visual narrative of Egyptian artist Hayam Elsayed’s painted portraiture flourishes with magnificent complexity and mystery. Each muse takes us on a journey into the creative dexterity of her imagination, and it’s there that we see her soulful protagonists communicate their individual stories.

A reflection of wandering thoughts and timeless moments, their magnetic gaze invites you to experience their world through Hayam’s eyes. A welcomed gesture, we join them beyond the gentle brushstrokes and oil pigments that resonate with sweet nostalgic tones. In this exclusive interview, we delve deeper into her work and discover the magnitude of Hayam Elsayed’s poetic artistry.

My inspiration comes from distinct features on a person; their face, the way they laugh, cry, and all reactions that go through a human’s face.

Represented by Arte Globale, Hayam Elsayed utilizes various elements to channel the “inner spirit” of her paintings, and each portrait seems an emblematic extension of her artistic fluency. With carefully detailed technique and style, her impassioned protagonists cultivate an ardent sense of familiarity. Focusing on the many characteristics of the human condition, it’s clear she excels in the art of painted emotion. Hayam Elsayed takes us to place where the veracity of her subject comes to life. Her London exhibition “Love & Hope” is currently on view through Artsy with Arte Globale, Apr 11 – May 3, 2021.

About the Gallery // Arte Globale, the gallery of the world, represents a hand-picked selection of international contemporary artists and provides a platform for collectors to discover, enjoy and acquire exceptional art. Showcasing both established and emerging artists, ARTE GLOBALE strictly researches aesthetically and conceptually valuable works that speak a global language. The majority of the artists represented have shown their work at top-tier events such as the Venice Biennale, and have been acquired by international museums around the world. The gallery’s program includes solo shows and exhibitions at world-famed art fairs.

The painting is a representation of a female face. The secret of light, the more light shading her face, the more the veil is revealed. She can now see what she cannot see and feel what she cannot feel. The truth is prevailed and her eyes are illuminated with divine light.

About the Artist// Hayam Elsayed is an up-and-coming artist. Whilst relatively new to the art scene she has already carved out a signature style to her work. In two years, Hayam’s work has already featured in two art exhibitions, had her first international debut at the World Art Dubai in 2019 and shared in the art fair Milan and Scope Art show in 2020. Hayam paints portraits that express intense emotions, with faces that reveal feelings of love, courage, hope and strength. Observing every face she sees, Hayam Elsayed paints the live expression of her subject, giving it a life of its own. Her technique embodies detail drawing lines and colour choices that highlights the subject’s intense gazes.

Artist Statement // Fine art has been my passion since I was young. I love to work on my paintings and I am often inspired by life and nature. I love many art styles, but realism is my favorite. As a realism artist, my approach to a subject matter is to portray it as it really appears in life; just as God created it. However, I do admire other art styles, such as impressionism and abstract art. For example, Vincent Van Gogh and Picasso are among my favorite artists whose artistic styles reflect those styles. Others, who are also my favorite, include American artists Georgia O’Keeffe for her flower paintings and Thomas Kinkaid for his realism in art.

Oil paint is the medium I use to create my art on canvas. Painting in oils is a traditional form of art that many of the Old Masters used when they created their masterpieces. I love the work of the Old Masters and someday I hope to be as much of an accomplished artist as they were.

Hayam, thank you for taking the time to share your artistic story with our Beautiful Bizarre readers; we’re thrilled to learn more about you and your work. So let’s start from the beginning… was there anything from your childhood that nourished your creativity and led you on this creative journey?

Since I was young, fine art has been my passion. I love to work on my paintings and I am often inspired by life and nature. I love many art styles, but realism is my favorite. As a realism artist, my approach to a subject is to portray it as it really appears in life. Since my early days as an artist, my family has been a major influence on my work; a single unit of security within a world full of evil and vices. As the artist within me grew and matured, I found other sources to stimulate my creativity.

Who are your painted protagonists and what do you hope viewers will experience when looking at your them?

There’s something deeply engaging about every muse, with my main aim being able to reveal the intensity of emotions through the gaze of the eyes. Watching people laugh, cry and react is what inspires all my work. My aim is that my art will inspire people by stirring their emotions and senses while looking at the versatile characters I draw and paint. With each painting, I deliver feelings of hope, love, courage, and all range of positive emotions that will heal and help people.

Hayam Elsayed sacrifice portrait painting

The more I expressed myself through my art, the more I realized that your soul gets touched by a painting. If you look closely, you feel so many emotions running through you.

If you could choose one painting that closely conveys a sentiment within yourself and is most sacred to you, which would it be and why?

I love all my paintings… and, yes, I do have a favorite. However, it’s not because of the way it looks or because of the effort I put in to it. There are just some paintings that bring out something in you that you never realized, and, for me, it’s my Divine strength painting (below left). Every time I glance at this painting, no matter where or when, it always teaches me something new and enlightens me to something different.

In all facets of life, inspiration is a seminal tool for creation. What inspires your artistry? And how do you harness its fluidity?

As I grew up, I realized how beautiful art is. As more and more time past, I saw a lot of different art pieces and I started to get inspired. I learned more, and I saw that art is an expression… an expression of feeling and emotion. The more I expressed myself through my art, the more I realized that your soul gets touched by a painting. If you look closely, you feel so many emotions running through you.

My inspiration comes from distinct features on a person; their face, the way they laugh, cry, and all reactions that go through a human’s face. Studying in Florence, I was thrilled by all the art I saw around me. I could feel the painting, the colors, and the strokes of the brush that were clearly seen on the portrait itself. Looking back at my life, before art, I see how my perspective on art has completely changed. In all facets of life, inspiration is a seminal tool for creation. 

Will you take us inside your studio and share some valuable insight into your creative process and painting techniques?

Well, my studio is a where any positive thoughts that come to mind are used towards my art. My creative process comes from a different form of art; music is an art form that helps express creativity. The movement whilst listening to the music just gives that extra little bit of creativity needed to turn your artwork into something more. In my studio, I follow some steps as I let go of the idea of perfection, and allow myself to have fun. I try to silence my inner critic.

Your paintings embrace the human spirit on a profound, emotional level. How do you explore and maintain the integrity of your vision each time you begin a new body of work? And how has your imaginative interpretations changed and evolved over time?

Every time I think of a new painting, I always start to reflect on life and try to maintain the good things that I am doing. However, to maintain this, you have to turn towards a lifestyle (in a way) where everything you should inspire brings out your inner spirit. Over the past few years, I have learned how to turn this into a way of life. Through that, I was capable of maintaining the vision I have of making my paintings connect with people on a higher level. My vision is not to become famous but to make people connect with the paintings and bring out there souls.

What has been your most memorable moment (thus far) as an artist?

For me, every moment is memorable whether it is the sleepless nights or the long gallery day. Each moment I have experienced throughout the art world has been memorable. But if I had to pick one, it would be my trip to the New York Scope Art Show. Whilst I was there, the atmosphere was different as if I was back at the beginning still learning how to paint. There where children everywhere, taking pictures and interacting with me and other artists, which just made it so much more nostalgic.

The presence of social media is a pivotal mainstay for personal brands and business owners. What role do you feel art and the artist have in today’s society? 

Well, today’s society is very socially acclimated with the artistic scene whether it is art, music, or even dancing – all these are forms of art, and within social media they are used in many different ways. In my opinion, I feel that art is used more to describe and express your emotion. For example, if you post on social media a sad piece of art then people will wonder why are you sad? But if you post a happy piece of art, people tend to react with a more joyful manner and therefore I feel that art upholds a huge role in social media.

We would love to hear more about your upcoming events. What can we look forward to from you… what are you working on and what do you see on the horizon?  

I have imported an online solo show “Love & Hope” through Artsy with my representing gallery, Arte Globale that opened April 11th. Additionally, I have some nominee awards. I also see myself having many successful solo shows and selling art. My future vision is of a “me” that still explores and is still imaginative, but is also at a point where the freedom of my creativity have reached a pleasant and successful cohabiting place!

Hayam Elsayed Social Media Accounts

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

About Author

Internationally exhibited artist and creator of Wooden Ophelia, Bella Harris is not only the Online Editor at Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, she also oversees all staff writers and helps support website functionality and development. As a contributing writer for the website, active copy editor, and editorial photographer, she plays a vital role in the growth of Beautiful Bizarre Magazine while working closely with advertisers and artists. Wooden Ophelia is a contemporary collection of original moon designs, handmade woodwork, artwork furnishings, and sacred crystals... all to enchant your home.

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