Ganzeer

ganzeer is a multidisciplinairy artist/designer from cairo, egypt. He is now in New York City.

جنزير فنان ومصمم متعدد التخصصات من القاهرة، مصر. وهو دلوقتي في مدينة نيو يورك

Why Egypt’s Revolutionary Spirit is Still Alive: A Conversation with Ganzeer - by Marianne Roux

If you take an interest in the street art scene in the Arab world, you surely must have heard about Ganzeer. The Guardian has described him as a major player in an emerging “counter culture art scene”, Al Monitor has placed him on a list of 50 people “shaping the culture of the Middle East” and last May the Huffington Post put him on its list of global street artists “shaking up public art”. Last but not least, this month he made the front page of  The New York Times Arts & Leisure supplement. At 32 years old, this is a pretty impressive résumé for any budding artist…

To offer you a glimpse into the world of Ganzeer, ONORIENT interviewed the artist. Now, let’s talk about art and revolution with one of the most talented multidisciplinary artists of this generation.

Your artist name is “Ganzeer”, which means “chain”, how did you pick it?

This was originally the name of a design studio I had set up back in 2005. Although I would have other designers working with me from time to time, it was only just me in this studio, so clients and other people just started to refer to me directly as Ganzeer. And the name sort of caught on and stuck. When I decided to shut down the studio and focus entirely on art-making, I kept the name because it was the one most people knew me by. Why I had picked it for my design studio in the first place is because I thought it was a good metaphor for the role of a designer in society. You see, a ganzeer is typically used to refer to a bicycle chain. Not the chain that locks the bicycle. But the chain that keeps the wheels in motion when pedaling. In a way, that’s what a designer does; we connect ideas.

READ THE REST OF THE INTERVIEW AT ONORIENT.COM

Carlo McCormick, a critic and author of “Trespass: A History of Uncommissioned Urban Art” (Taschen, 2010), puts Ganzeer in a tradition that includes notable street artists like Shepard Fairey and Banksy. “They have a defining style, but Ganzeer is working more as an activist than a muralist,” he said. “He’s more of a chameleon and adapts his visuals to the content.”
Barbara Pollack, The New York Times – Online: July 10 / Print: July 13 (via ganzeer)
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