Independent Design Magazine

Street Art in Egypt

Street art in Cairo streets- From 'Walls of Freedom' Book

Street art has always been a prominent tool of self-expression in history. It has gone through many phases of development over the years. In Egypt, it’s noticeable how the revolution radically changed the art scene in the past few years. Consequently, street art in Egypt started to be used as an expressive tool by a lot of youthful talents.

Walls of Cairo witnessed a remarkable wave of self-expression. The book “Walls of Freedom” records the artwork made by the citizens during the first three years after the revolution. The street art tells the story of the power of resistance.

Walls of Freedom Book
Walls of Freedom Book

Aya Tarek, Egyptian muralist

The revolution might have shed highlight on street artists. However, there are those who have been working in the shade for quite some time. Among them is Aya tarek, the Egyptian muralist and illustrator from Alexandria.

Aya Tarek, Egyptian muralist and illustrator
Aya Tarek, Egyptian muralist and illustrator

Tarek has been doing art work ever since 2008. She participated in a lot of galleries and exhibitions locally and all over the world. Tarek has put her mark on the walls of Brazil, America, Berlin, and participated in festivals such as Djerba and City leaks street art festival in Germany.  One of her most popular works was Omar El Sherif mural in Gueneva.

Omar El Sherif Mural in Geneva by Aya Tarek
Omar El Sherif Mural in Geneva by Aya Tarek

Tarek is interested in humanity as a subject. As she expresses in one of her interviews, she likes to draw faces and reactions. Tarek originally studied painting in Alexandria University. Therefore she prefers to work with paint more than other tools like spray and stencils.

Free Chlorophyll Water, 2015, acrylics on wall, Venice, LA's Winston House
Free Chlorophyll Water, 2015, acrylics on wall, Venice, LA's Winston House
The Basement Records, 300x210 cm Acrylics on Wall Cairo, Egypt 2017. Photo courtesy of Muhammed Ibrahim and the artist.
The Basement Records, 300x210 cm Acrylics on Wall Cairo, Egypt 2017. Photo courtesy of Muhammed Ibrahim and the artist.
Tropical Androgyny, (2013,) Acrylics and spray paint on wall, 20x8.5m
Tropical Androgyny, (2013,) Acrylics and spray paint on wall, 20x8.5m Photo courtesy of Cityleaks Festival / Robert Winter

Tarek’s main aim is to develop her art work and produce on larger scales. She just wants to freely express herself through art without categorization. Recently, Tarek work included creating murals for interior commercial and entertainment projects. Additionally, she will be working on art projects in Gouna, Cairo as well as Los Angeles.

Uncle Tony: Commercial project in Heliopolis, Cairo - Photo courtesy of: Design Avenue, Aya Tarek and Amina El Banna
Uncle Tony: Commercial project in Heliopolis, Cairo - Photo courtesy of: Design Avenue, Aya Tarek and Amina El Banna
Aya Tarek in action, Voodoo, 2016
Aya Tarek in action, Voodoo, 2016

Artwork and business

In 1970s and 80s, the art of painting ads and movie posters was so popular. After the age of digitization, this art has developed to match with the updated technologies. In the current entrepreneurial movement in Egypt, we can see a lot of youthful talents bringing back the art of wall painting. Here are some of of those who are making it in the art business:

Jidar

Two years ago, young female entrepreneurs, Sara Gaafar, Farah Emara and Tasneem Amr founded Jidar. It’s a platform aiming to connect wall painters and create visual arts on walls. Artists of Jidar have worked on projects in Cairo, Gouna and Hurghada. Through their projects they markedly focus on making the wall tell its story.

Street_Art in Egypt Farah Emara and Tasneem Amr, co-founders of Jidar- From: @JidarWallArt
Farah Emara and Tasneem Amr, co-founders of Jidar- From: @JidarWallArt
Street Art in Egypt A mural for Chefox The Ultimate Weight Loss Experience from @JidarWalArt
A mural for Chefox The Ultimate Weight Loss Experience from @JidarWalArt
Street Art in Egypt A mural designed for Isabelle from @JidarWallArt
A mural designed for Isabelle from @JidarWallArt

Cairo Walls

Founded by two enthusiastic architects, Ahmed Assadeya and Mohammed Mohsen, Cairo Walls is making a change in the perspective of the painted walls in Egypt. Cairo walls is an art hub that aims to add its special artistic touch on the exterior and interior walls of Egypt.

Street Art in Egypt Artists behind Cairo Walls
Artists behind Cairo Walls
Mural art work by Cairo Walls
Mural art work by Cairo Walls
Mural art work by Cairo Walls
Mural art work by Cairo Walls

As can be seen, there are major steps going on with the aim to change people’s perspective on art and how they react with it.  Consequently, the image of the artist is starting to change. Artwork should not be a distant subject anymore but rather included in our everyday life. We’re glad to see a lot of artists taking this initiative in Egypt through various ways.


An architect who’s passionate about movies, design, and advertising. Living for the art of storytelling in different ways, and always seeking to write inspiring stories about good things in the world.

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