Artist Of The Month: Hashem L Kelesh

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Tue, 15 Mar 2016 - 01:36 GMT

Hashem L Kelesh is the third Artist of the Month in our year-long series in collaboration with Art Egypt spotlighting Egyptian artists.

by Art Egypt

Hashem L Kelesh’s website describes him as a “very sad man,” who “creates illusions of sound and image that, much to his surprise, appeal to some people.” Not tying himself down to any particular medium, Kelesh is a painter, photographer, videographer, collage artist and music producer known as Dijit. His work is often sexual, though Kelesh says there is always an element that’s “frightening rather than sexual” in the work that contains nudity. Why should it be obscene when he paints it, when so many people search for “sex” on Google, he asks in a documentary about him on the TVmedrar YouTube channel. Kelesh shows most of his work online, preferring the freedom and the large audience that the Internet offers to a traditional gallery. He often photographs his friends in his room, saying he doesn’t often go out or enjoy nature. See his photos at hashimation.tumblr.com.

[caption id="attachment_474364" align="alignnone" width="413"]Artwork by Hashem L Kelesh. Artwork by Hashem L Kelesh.[/caption]

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I find it a little bit strange to talk about myself. But since I was a teenager, people always think of me as a very sad man because I don’t really get or understand many things in life.

I like to refer to what I do as killing time more than making art. I kill time trying to create images and sounds based on the study of humans and human behavior in a way that I feel I never come up with anything new. Everything is around us, but we just need to focus and take a proper look. That’s why I always get surprised when people like whatever I produce and that’s why I work with different mediums - painting, photography, videography, collage or music and sounds. I try to soak up all what comes my way and execute it in whatever technique I feel would fit more. And I sleep very little.

What inspires your art?

Very pale people, women who looks like the figures of the Renaissance art era, plastic surgeries, clean teeth and people who barely speak.

[caption id="attachment_474354" align="alignnone" width="620"]Photo by Hashem L Kelesh. Photo by Hashem L Kelesh.[/caption]

What do you like best about your art?

That sometimes I feel it makes people uncomfortable. And the thing I like most about what I do is that I never had to have a real job ever. What are your thoughts on the art scene in Egypt?

I think Tamer Hosni needs to spend more time at the gym. And Amr Diab should make less platonic songs for the new generation, and Mohamed Saad should go back to movies and stop whatever he’s doing on TV.

Tell me a bit about how you work?

I just watch people. Listen to their stories. Order a Happy Meal, and put my iTunes on shuffle.

Who’s your favorite Egyptian artist?

Yehia Abd Elhameed Farag.

What are your plans for the future?

I don’t really plan. But I hope for things in the future. I hope I start sleeping more. I hope to eat less red meat and cheese, and I hope someone invents a pill for people to loose weight the more they eat. I hope to be able to breathe underwater, to never have gray hair, and for my left toe not to be numb ever again. And to never dream when I sleep.

Art Egypt (@art_egypt) is an Instagram account that boasts the largest database of young artists in the country. Their aim is to promote contemporary fine art from today’s most talented Egyptian artists. To be considered for upcoming Artist of the Month features, send your artwork to Art Egypt at artegyi@gmail.com.

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