|George Al Bahgoury جورج البهجورى|
Life and career
Bahgoury was born into a Coptic Christian family in Luxor, Upper Egypt in 1932. In 1955, he studied painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Zamalek, Cairo, under the guidance of the Egyptian artist Hussein Bikar. In 1970, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris.
His 30 year stay in Paris refined his talent in drawing, engraving, painting, sculpture, marionette art, novel writing, cinema and criticism. Upon a special invitation from the Society of Art Lovers in Paris, his works were selected to represent the Egyptian Pavilion at the Louvre Museum in 1999.
Georges Bahgory is one of Egypt’s most renowned contemporary artists. Widely referred to as 'the granddaddy of Egyptian caricature,’ Bahgory is most famous for his political cartoons that have been featured in Arabic press for decades.
His painting "A Face from Egypt" won the Silver Medal award. His wood and bronze engravings have been displayed in galleries in France and Canada. He also created two granite works during the Aswan International Symposium of Sculpture. From 1953 to 1975, Bahgoury was also a prominent cartoonist for the two weekly Egyptian magazines Sabah Al Khair and Rose El Youssef.
Works by Bahgory can be categorized as expressionist and cubist with bright colours appealing to folk art fans. He cites 20th century favourite Pablo Picasso, Egyptian modernist Abdel Hadi Al Gazzar, German expressionist Paul Klee, and Egyptian Fayoum portraits, among others, as his influences. Bahgory paints in a manner that viewers can perceive as either dark or whimsical, a model combination for the rugged and creative spirit of both Egypt and the 20th century’s best-selling artist.
He is a multifaceted and multidimensional artist with an impressive history, having written books, garnered numerous national and international honours and participated in over thirty exhibitions across Europe and the Middle East. Bahgory has mastered various fine art mediums, including drawing, painting and prints as well as photography and sculpture.
He published “Three Icons", a novel which was acclaimed by prominent literary critics such as Dr. Ali Al Ra’i.e., Dr. Salah Fadl and Edwar Al Kharrat. He co-starred in a French film. Some of his works were acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in Amman and the Museum of Modern Art in Cairo.
Following the Egyptian Revolution, Al Masar Gallery for Contemporary Art in Zamalek, Cairo, hosted a special exhibition 'Bahgory on Revolution' of Bahgory's post-revolution artworks. Scenes from "The Battle of the Camel" (of 2 February 2011) were featured, alongside paintings depicting scenes daily life in Egypt and the artist's love of the music of Om Kulthoum.
- He staged many exhibitions in Egypt and abroad around. Some of the most important:
- Local Exhibitions
- 1976, 15th Spring Exhibition - Cairo.
- 2004, 1st Exhibition of Press Illustrations, at Palace of Arts. Cairo.
- 2005, 29th National Exhibition of Fine Arts. Cairo.
- 2006, "Ramdaniat" Exhibition at Salama Gallery - Mohandessen. Cairo.
- 2007, "Art and Grant" Exhibition at Al-Oruba Rotary Club. Cairo.
- 2007, 1st Festival of Fine Creation, "30th General Exhibition and 1st Fine Art Fair". Cairo.
- 2008, Festival of Sketches and Mini Tableaus at Shadecor Gallery - Heliopolis. Cairo.
- 2008, Caricature Exhibition at Mahmoud Saeed Center of Museums - Alexandria.
- International Exhibitions
- 1966, Venice Biennail - Italy.
- 1965, Alexandria Biennail - Egypt.
- 1977, Exhibition of the Contemporary Art - Sudan.
- 1984, Contemporary Arab Art Exhibition - Tunisia.
- 2005, 2nd International Biennail of Book Fancy - Alexandria Library. Egypt.
- 2007, "Egyptian Smiles" Exhibition - 18th Gabrufu Biennale - Bulgueria.
- 2008, 13th Aswan International Symposium of Sculpture - Egypt.
- Solo Shows
- More than 100 exhibitions all over the world. The most important done in Egypt:
- 1973, at Fine Arts Gallery - Cairo.
- 1998, at Al-Mashrabia Gallery - Cairo.
- 1996, at Al-Mashrabia Gallery - Cairo.
- 1996, at Khan Al-Maghraby Gallery - Cairo.
- 1999, at Arabesque Gallery - Cairo.
- 2000, at Picasso Gallery - Cairo.
- 2005, "Bahgoury Cafe" Exhibition, at Picasso Gallery - Cairo.
- 2007, At Nahdet Misr Gallery - Mahmoud Mukhtar Museum, Giza. Cairo.
- 2007, at Picasso Gallery, Zamalek - Cairo.
- Books : Port Said 65 - Sadat 80 - Paris 1990.
- Novels: " Trilogy of Icon" .
- 1978, Prize from Biennial of Caricature. Italy.
- 1979, Honorary Prize of Comic Strip in Damscus. Syria.
- Prize and Golden Medal by Franco Characater Caricature. Spain.
- State collections
- Loumansi Museum. France.
- Museum of the Modern Art. Amman.
- Museum of the Modern Egyptian Art. Cairo, Egypt.
- Al-Shouna Museum. Alexandria, Egypt.
- Private Collections
- Egyptian Embassy in France.
- Egyptian Embassy in England.