Artist spotlight: Ramy Elzaghawy
‘I believe I am in the best place in the world to showcase my art’ – Elzaghawy
There’s so much that contributes to the UAE being one of the best places in the world to visit and live in. And whilst it may not be the first defining characteristic that springs to mind, this beautiful country really has become something of an open-air art gallery, with sculptures, installations and charismatic street murals adding to the amassed urban appeal.
Many facades of the UAE’s cities, the walls and old buildings have become impromptu canvases, living frescos with colourful designs created by talented local artists. And amongst the most exciting, ambitious, stirring works are those from the hands of Ramy Elzaghawy.
Elzaghawy is a graffiti artist based in the UAE and is committed to raising the profile of his beloved artistic medium. He has been a part of a number of prestigious projects and has left his mark at several emblematic locations across the country.
The spray paint splendor of the lady at Bla Bla Dubai, the green and yellow floral design at W Hotel Palm Jumeirah, and other art murals at Barasti, Zero Gravity, Yas Marina, and more all bare his swag and his tag.
His largest piece to date measures a whopping one kilometre – a work of art that the artist spent four months creating. The mural, located in Al Qana, Abu Dhabi was created for Adrenark Adeventure – the region’s biggest indoor adventure attraction and eSports hub Pixoul.
When What’s On asked if he has a team to support him, Elzaghawy tells us ‘I don’t have a team. I work alone from day one. It’s a one-man show. I believe everyone has his own style.’ He tells us that all his work for must demonstrate his (magic) ’touch’ so he works alone.
His work spans the GCC but he loves to focus on the UAE as something new is always happening, and he is always keen to add his artistic flair. “In Dubai, every day is a new day, something fresh is showing up. I believe I am in the best place in the world to showcase my art”.
So, how exactly does Elzaghawy come up with his creative vision? He tells us clients will almost always give him some level of brief, including details such as the colour palette to use, but Elzaghawy does his own research on where the art will be placed. Analysing patterns in light and shade aspects, visibility from various angles, movement vectors, surface textures and other technical considerations. This vision and preparation plays no small part in the fact that his presentations for commissions often get the green light on the very first try. People that appreciate art seem to trust Elzaghawy and give him the space and creative freedom to express himself.
When asked about his favourite mural, (the very humble) Elzaghawy tells us he doesn’t want to have one because ‘inside me, I always feel like I can do better. If one day I feel like I love a particular piece, that is the end of me and I won’t grow anymore.’
He adds that he loves what he does and enjoys it, but believes he can do more and wants more walls to keep doing what he loves.
Much like Banksy, Elzaghawy loves to work at night after the city has gone to sleep. He loves the silence and listens to music while he works, and enjoys every second of it. He gets so connected at times to a mural that he can work all night up until the next evening.
Elzaghawy was born and raised in the UAE and believes that this is his country. He loves the UAE and feels this is his home. When asked what he loves most about the UAE, he says it’s hard to put into words, ‘the country has connected so deeply with me and I love every single thing’ he then restates ‘I believe I am in the best place on earth’.
When asked about future murals, Elzaghawy has plans for one more big mural in the UAE but is awaiting confirmation, and we honestly can’t wait to see what he does.
You can keep up with Ramy Elzaghawy murals on Instagram via @t.ra.my
Images: Supplied by Ramy Elzaghawy