Adham AbdelMoneim with one of his compositions.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Adham AbdelMoneim, the 26-year-old Egyptian painter who goes by the brand name of “The Sultan Adham”, is making waves in the Middle East, garnering the attention of the art community and collectors alike, with his mind-map paintings.
Mind maps radiate from a central image, using lines and colour to display associations, groupings and links between terms, concepts, and pictures.
Contemporary mind-map art, unlike conventional and archaic styles, captures the thoughts and emotions of the owner, thereby striking personal chords.
With its novelty — the state of being experimental and a rather new genre in the Middle East — mind-map art is increasingly finding itself on the walls of art enthusiasts and collectors’ homes, adding interesting new dimensions to existing collections.
AbdelMoneim’s mind-map paintings draw on his creative inheritance from the iconic Egyptian artists/actors/performers in his family, namely, grandparents Hassan Mostafa and Mimi Gamal. Egyptian actor Mostafa was born in 1933 and graduated from the High Institute for Theatrical Arts in 1957.
He worked for a variety of theatre troupes in his career, including the Ismail Yassin Theatre troupe, the Egyptian United Artists and Egyptian Television Theater. He is best known for his numerous theatrical performances that were broadcast on television, including “Hawa’ Elsa’a 12” (Eve at Midnight), “Madraset Almoshaghbein” (School of Bullies), “El Eyal Kebret” (The Children Grew Up) and “Sayidaty Elgamila” (My Fair Lady).
Gamal was born to an Egyptian father and a Greek mother. She started her career in acting at a very young age, working on stage with Al-Fannaneen al-Mottahedeen (The United Artists) Troupe and in several individually owned theatre troupes. She became widely known due to her numerous TV roles.
“Art is an enchanting world,” AbdelMoneim says. “My inspiration comes from the beautiful colours that the Almighty created in the art of life and how our minds, souls, and thoughts respond to this; how our moods and emotions trigger our day-to-day life.
“I aim to achieve that through my art — how a mix of different colours, shapes, and strokes, can be a map of someone’s mind. “What you’ll see in my artwork is a mind-map that gives you a brief example of confidence, experiences, love, hate, character, and much more.” He discovered his painting prowess during the pandemic, as he found himself increasingly confined indoors. The enabling household environment facilitated by his parents and grandparents — with whom he feels a deep connection — gave momentum to his dreams of adding colour to people’s lives.
“The inclusiveness of the concept and art direction is what makes me excited to create more — how the heart and the brain both communicate together. “The power of the human mind and the emotion of the human heart allow me to spread out the acrylic colours on the canvas and just paint my way through my thoughts — because what defines artists, anyways? The power to express,” he says.
Under the banner ‘The Sultan Paints’, he began his body of work at the onset of the pandemic. Within a couple of months, the paintings were selling out in reputable galleries in two-three days - with acclaimed international collectors vying to own the customised mind-map paintings.
His appearance in the art scene was such that he was holding solo exhibitions in no time, with “Mind Maps” at Karnik Gallery in Mayfair, London, being a notable one. People’s perceptions of life and day-to-day experiences were embodied in the paintings.
AbdelMoneim’s works have since been selling across the globe, especially in the Middle East. His position in the Middle East art world has been particularly noteworthy because of what he is — a young artist who dared to dream, with a goal of creating a first-of-its-kind movement in the region. In doing so, he has essentially blazed a new trail for budding Arab artists to go on their own journeys and make their mark in the world.
“I want to convey the creativity and virtuosity of the Arabs to the world,” says the artist. “There is so much clutter in this world; but I choose to see the beauty in every mind and intend to showcase it on the canvas.”
He was born in Cairo, Egypt (1996) and graduated from the European University of Geneva in 2019.
Adventure has always been part of his life: being able to travel has been a huge part of unleashing the creative side of things, whether it was art in all forms, cuisine or languages.
Local recognition and gallery affiliations kicked off initially in his home country, Egypt. In 2020, in his first exhibition titled “Faces” at Motion Art Gallery, Cairo, 24 pieces were sold out in three days. This was followed by a solo show at Nile Art Gallery, Cairo, in 2021, and another at Art D’Egypte Almaza Edition, North Coast, Egypt. Art D’Egypte is a privately owned Egyptian multidisciplinary firm founded by Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, to support the Egyptian arts and culture scene. Exposure from well renowned collectors from the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, UK, France and Luxembourg, among others, has helped popularise his work. Besides the Almighty, the greatest artist and creator, AbdelMoneim is inspired by nature and by day-to-day experiences. He tries to connect his thoughts with art, overcoming the challenges he faces in the creative process and paints his mind and thoughts onto a canvas with vibrant colours, ultimately expressing his feelings. Given the impact he is having on the regional art world, aficionados are advised to closely map his art mind.
The sale comprises 63 works across mediums including paintings, sculpture and photography, from the period 1963 to 2021.
In addition to showcasing the Uzbek art for viewing pleasure, OSH is also supporting the ethnic art scene by offering diners the opportunity to purchase the pieces directly from the restaurant.
Recent events include a yacht event with holders of RTFKT Studios NFTs, entrepreneur Gary Vee and the Doodles Community.
Sharif discovered his curiosity and affinity for art at a very early age and independently studied masters of Modernism such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso, whose works he discovered through English books.
Nimrat, who is on a visit to Punjab, shared a glimpse of her travel. Taking to Instagram, she gave a glimpse of the northern state
This success inspired the producer of the film, Excel Entertainment, to come out with a sequel “Fukrey Returns” in 2017 — which also made a mark at the BO.
The collection is considered one of the most important such in Britain, and is permanently displayed inside Sir John Soane’s pioneer architectural masterpiece.