War on Walls Exhibit Is Up at St. Mark’s Cathedral!

I’m excited to announce that we successfully installed the War on Walls exhibit today. I would like to thank the wonderful folks at the Visual Arts Ministry for the smooth installation. The exhibit looks breathtaking!

Panorama War on Walls Exhibit. Photo: Eirik Nalder.
Panorama War on Walls Exhibit. Photo: Eirik Nalder.

This has been a three year journey. First on the streets of Cairo in 2012 photographing Egypt’s important and evocative Arab Spring street art. When I began this project in early 2012, I was working in Cairo, living in a hotel room facing onto Tahrir Square. The regime had toppled, former President Hosni Mubarak had been forced to resign a year earlier and presidential elections had been scheduled for June 2012, just a few months away. Tahrir Square teamed with individual protestors, formal political groups and random citizens, giving voice to every type of civil complaint – from politics and police to taxes, utility expenses, and traffic congestion.

Living on Tahrir Square, I observed the wall art grow and change to reflect current events and the demands for social, political and economic change. These increasingly complex, yet temporary murals were not political organs of any particular group. Rather, they were created and funded by the artists themselves, who spent thousands of Egyptian Pounds (EGP) to create these paintings, only to have the government eventually white wash the walls to remove them. Nonetheless, the wall art became more and more complex and expansive as the Arab Spring wore on.

I was inspired by the artists’ dedication to creating these complex, culturally significant expressions of the Egyptian peoples’ complaints and demands, knowing the ephemeral life that each masterpiece would have. The photographs gathered in this project are my effort to preserve some important examples of this extraordinary art movement.

It is my hope that War on Walls will convey not only the craft of these artists, but also the messages that inspired the street artists to express the soul and dreams of the Egyptian peoples’ revolution. These murals tell the story of Egypt’s Arab Spring through some of the most beautiful, expressive and iconic wall images ever created. War on Walls preserves important examples of this extraordinary art movement. The book aims to convey not only the craft of these artists, but also the messages that inspired the street artists to express the soul and dreams of the Egyptian peoples’ revolution. These murals tell the story of Egypt’s Arab Spring through some of the most beautiful, expressive and iconic wall images ever created.

This journey from inception of the project to the culmination in an exhibition has spanned 3 years, two hemispheres,

War on Walls Exhibit. St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, WA.
War on Walls Exhibit. St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, WA.

three continents and three countries – from Egypt to Australia to the US. Then a year researching and publishing the book War on Walls. And now the final phase — creating and producing an engaging exhibit of this body of work. For the past 6 months, I have been working on this exhibit. At times, it’s been another full time job, a job that I’ve loved and journey that has taught me a lot about exhibits, grants, fine art printing and framing. The result is a truly stunning set of 15 photographs located in an atmospheric and impressive exhibit space.

Please join me Sunday January 11, 2015 from 12:30pm – 3:30pm (I would like to thank the NFL for scheduling the Seahawks game on Saturday. Hats off to you guys. Nice planning.) at St. Mark’s Cathedral on Capitol Hill for the opening reception of this exhibit.

The exhibit runs from January 11, 2015 – February 15, 2015. It is free to the public, open daily 7am-7pm (except for Mass on Sunday).

TAKE A PIECE OF THE ARAB SPRING STREET ART HOME WITH YOU! The limited editions fine art prints that are hanging in the exhibit are available for sale. This is a one time printing using the highest quality ink, paper, hand cut matting and frame. The prints are available for purchase now, so purchase the print you would like early to ensure that you get the print you would like. Email me at [email protected] for further questions or to purchase one of the prints.

Procession for the martyrs. Mohammed Mahmoud Street. Cairo, Egypt. War on Walls.
Procession for the martyrs. Mohammed Mahmoud Street. Cairo, Egypt. War on Walls.

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I would like to thank the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and St. Mark’s MidEast Ministry for their support in the form of grants and donations.

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