After the huge success of the Narrative PR Summit, CC Plus is hosting the first edition of Narrative Disruptors Event on April 14th, 2019 at the Nile Ritz Carlton as the first implementation of Narrative PR Summit 2018 Recommendations in partnership with one of the technology Disruptors VictoryLink.
The event is aimed to showcase the role of leading disruptors in the growth of various industries and how technology innovation and entrepreneurship were catalysts to this growth.
One of the speakers will be Nadine Abdel Ghaffar, Founder of Art D’Egypte. Nadine is an art consultant who helped collectors build collections, and her platform Art D’Égypte helps promote Egyptian artists.
In 2005 she decided to professionalize her passion in art dealing and became a certified curator from the Central Saint Martin school of arts in London.
We had the chance to have a one-on-one interview with Nadine to know more about her, her work and participation in the Narrative Disruptors Event. Most importantly, we spoke with her about art!
- Tell us more about how you started your career?
I started organizing exhibitions in Egypt and Dubai to promote Egyptian art and artists. As a result of my experience and commitment to the promotion of Egyptian art, I established the art consultancy Art D’Égypte.
With this Egyptian art initiative, I aim to encourage the modern and contemporary art scene, by curating annual art exhibition at a different historical site in Egypt, which revives the heritage sites and promotes the artists.
- How did your upbringing affect you and your art consultancy?
I am Alexandrian and my parents were very much into culture. Since my mom was a collector herself, I have been exposed to so many artists, and visited artists’ ateliers since I was a kid.
I’ve seen modern art and contemporary artists. Alexandria has always been the modern-artist hub, artists such as Seif & Adham Wanly, Mahmoud Said, Hamed Oweis are the important artists we learn about today, even Abdel Hady el Gazzar stayed in Alexandria for a while. I was also always exposed to not only art, but heritage, too.
- Who are the people that influenced you and your vision about art the most?
Many people influenced me; Dr. Hussam Rachwan who wrote the first catalogue raisonné for an Egyptian artist, which is a struggle since we don’t have documentation and archiving for most Egyptian artists. He’s the co-author of the Mahmoud Said catalogue raisonné.
Dr. Mohamed Awad from the Alexandria Library has always been one of the key-figures in safeguarding iconic buildings in Alexandria.
Jean Yves Empereur also discovered the sunken treasures of Alexandria and founded Centre de Recherche Français Alexandrie. All these people, and what they have done, is what influenced me and who I am today.
- If you can choose one artist that had influenced you as a person and an art consultant, who would you choose?
The proximity to the family of Mohamed and Effat Nagi whom are family friends has definitely affected my views and knowledge in the art, to the extent that Art D’Égypte now manages the Estate of these amazing artists.
They were both very much in touch with the world and ahead of their time. It is not widely known that Mohamed Nagi had a studio at Giverny and often worked with Claude Monet.
- While some might think going from an interior designer to a full-time art consultant & curator might be a risk, you took this risk. How was this transition for you, and do you even consider it as a risk, or simply an evolution for your work as an interior designer?
I don’t like segregating; culture in general includes so many things. It includes design, architecture, art, cinema, music, heritage and archeology; there’s a lot in the same basket, and all compliment each other. Even interior design uses art pieces to complete the design.
- You are mostly known for your work in contemporary art. The interesting thing about contemporary art is that it’s one of those styles where it doesn’t have a specific “definition”. In your opinion, what is contemporary art?
We are in a very inter-disciplinary age, where no company or project sticks to just one field. All of the disciplines have become very intertwined and connected.
Just like art, it’s hard to define it or put it in a box, since contemporary art is not limited and there is no specific criteria for it. Contemporary artists are now free to use all kinds of ideas, scales, and mediums; industrial materials, digital technology, traditional paint and sculptures, mixed media installation, sound, performance, interactive activities, experimental methods.
As long as the art piece presents an idea, a challenge, a thought, question, piece of information; if the art piece provokes the mind and appeals to the eye in any way, it fulfills its purpose as an art piece.
- Many artists struggle to make a living out of their art and turn it into a business. In your opinion as an art consultant, what makes an artist successful? And how can artists start a fully realized business out of their art?
A successful artist finds his/ her own style and direction of work, but never mass-produces the piece to please the buyer’s taste. Once there’s too much repetition and lack of innovation, change, new blood, and growth, the art’s value decreases.
An artist always has to make sure he/ she’s seeking to learn and develop more, also constantly producing to maintain a reputation, but never keep doing the same thing.
- Art D’Égypte creates an annual pop up show in historical spaces. Tell us more about this project, and how it came about.
Art D’Égypte is using Egypt’s strongest point – cultural heritage – to showcase Egypt’s contemporary creations and prominent artists.
The opening night has guests from the international art-scene, followed by a month of rich public program. The exhibition also allows for a PPP (private public partnership), through our connections we secure permanent in-kind donations from the private sector to enhance and upgrade the historical sites and support the ministry of antiquities.
- Tell us more about your participation in the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM)
I would of course be willing to help in any way with the GEM as the Ethos of such a project is the same as Art D’Égypte; showing our heritage and transcendence with a spotlight on Egypt’s contemporary life.
- Why did you decide to speak at the Narrative Disruptors Summit, and what should we expect to hear from you?
A big part of what Art D’Égypte is doing, is reintroducing Egypt to the world. By repurposing the historical sites and our very rich cultural heritage that has been the same for years, we give the world something new to see, history with a contemporary twist, a chance to discover a new aspect of Egypt’s cultural scene, the artists.
- Out of the speakers at the Narrative Disruptors Summit, who are you most excited to hear?
Our initiative wouldn’t have been the same without our partners, who share with us the same vision and dream for Egypt, and we all collectively work for it.
Some of our partners are speaking at the summit, such a Karim El Shafie, Ismaelia group, who is a true example of perseverance and patience.
There’s Amy Mowafy, too, whose company has mastered the art of story-telling, reintroducing Egypt to the world, in the best ways possible.
Orascom holding; Khaled Bichara has been exceeding expectations in making Egypt a desirable destination worldwide. There’s also Orange who’ve been on board since last year.
It takes a whole village, and we’re grateful to be able to contribute to this huge movement, and be able to collaborate with so many great partners with a united vision for Egypt.