Archive for “Miguel Angel Sanchez”

Inception Gallery’s Programme for Art Paris Art Fair 2012

Paris, 20 March 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

As a participant in the 2012 Art Paris Art Fair, Inception Gallery will display four artists from 29 March to 1 April: Marc Fornes, Melvin Martínez, Miguel Ángel Sánchez, and Carlos Betancourt.

French artist March Fornes works on incorporating architecture into his work. As a graduate of architecture and town planning from Design Research Lab of the Architectural Association of London, Fornes will display a 2.4 x 2.4 m2 structure made specifically for Art Paris Art Fair.

Born in 1976, Melvin Martínez won the 2005 Castellon Painting Prize in Spain, which came with a €90,000 reward. His works are displayed in numerous collections in the United States, Europe and Latin America. At Art Paris Art Fair 2012, he will be showing a series of his recent paintings.

Born in 1977, Miguel Ángel Sánchez is a graduate in sculpture and enjoys popularity with the Community of Madrid for his photographic documentary work. The Spanish photographer has brought together 110 portraits of people living in Cairo who have all, in one way or another, participated in the Arab Spring. A selection of these portraits will be displayed at the fair.

Porto Rican Carlos Betancourt, the co-founder of Project 801, a studio art centre offering places of residence to artists based in Miami, is working with different mediums, but mostly with photos. His work has been incorporated in collections belonging to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., among others. The series of photographs and engravings which he is displaying at the Paris fair have never before been displayed in Europe.

Inception Gallery, which opened in Octobre 2011, tends to support established and up-and-coming artists displayed everywhere but not much or at all in France. This is the second time it is taking part in a contemporary art fair.

“Alma del Mundo” at Inception: a guided visit with Eric Bonici

Paris, 1è February 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Inception Gallery, located on rue de Poitou in Paris’ historic Marais district, is to feature an exhibition of photographs by Spanish sculptor and photographer Miguel-Angel Sanchez titled “Alma de Mundo”. The exhibition is made up of the artist’s photographs of the inhabitants of Cairo, taken during what has become known as the “Arab Spring”. Eric Bonici, the president of Art Premium, a contemporary art revue based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, spoke to Art Media Agency about several works featured in the show, their context, their stories and the choice of Diasec for their public display.

Merbat, flower of the desert

“It is a portrait of a woman, a flower seller. She is a widow and lives, or rather survives, with her children. He face is scarred by pollution. She sells a moment of happiness. She is 47, but her appearance is that of a 70 year old. Her photo is to be on the front cover of a book to accompany the exhibition. After the exhibition of her photo in Cairo, she has gained a little recognition, and sells a few more flowers. The artist has stated that she will receive a small amount of the profits from the book.”

The kharoub’s seller

“A little like the flower seller, this water carrier , who carries around 40 to 50 kilos of his merchandise on him, suffers in order to bring freshness, a little light relief, to his clients. The metaphor of suffering in order to bring happiness to others is a recurring theme throughout the exhibition.”

Kirolos Nagy

“This 21 year old is a  Coptic Christian, and works for the Cairo Institute of Human Rights. The Egyptian revolution is not a revolution in the name of human rights, but simply one to live better. He helps people to better understand the fundamentals of human rights. In this photo, he is portrayed in an almost christ-like way: a loincloth reminiscent of that worn by Christ on the cross, a candle, and a hand apparently making the sign of the cross.”

The donkey

“The donkey is the principal figure in this photo. It is this animal that has built egypt over the centuries. The donkey is the symbol of Cairo, a 21st century city, but one which nonetheless has aspects which are still in the 20th, or even 19th century. Using the donkey, the artist pays hommage to the animals of Cairo, who witnessed the events and massacres of Tahrir square.”

The black angel

“This man is a Sudanese homosexual. In Egypt, homosexual people are often tortured, imprisoned and sometimes executed. He hides his sexual orientation, and Miguel-Angel Sanchez has arranged him in the photo with palm leaves painted blood red, this branches representing the psychological  suffering that the model experiences.”


She has been nicknamed the Mona Lisa of Cairo. She is a Coptic Christian, speaks five languages and works in a tourist agency. She is revolted by the situation of women in Egyptian society, who cannot go out without being systematically approached, accosted or worse. It does not matter if you’re veiled or not, as many men believe they have the right to do whatever they like. She wants to meet someone, leave the country, and work without having to be subjected to such behaviour.”

Hamed, le poète

“He is a poet and philospher. Through his writing, he was a major opponent to the Moubarak regime well before the revolution. In the photograph’s presentation, he is surrounded by books and papers, in order to underline the fact that he fights in a non-violent way through his writing, and that his involvement in the revolution was similarly pacifistic in nature.”

Naseer Shamma

“One of the best oud players in the world, this Iraqi left his country during the first gulf war and opened an oud school in Cairo. This parchment, which dates to the 15th century, includes instructions of how to build the instrument, which he did himself. He has also developed a method for amputated children so that they can play the instrument with just one hand. He is carrying a dove, because the doves which land on his school’s building “dance” when he or his students begin to play.”


“He is a painter. His portrait is dominated by the colour red, symbolising blood. This artist wants to represent the spilt blood of the people, which has in turn enabled him to express himself through his graffiti art and drawing. He symbolises freedom of expression.”


“Ahmed is a a carpenter. He represents a section of society which is slightly better off, although no living in luxury. Always concerned with himself, he lives alone, preoccupied only by new personal opportunities. Miguel-Angel Sanchez has arranged him with a skull on the table behind which he is sat, in the style of a vanitas still life, in order to highlight that, for him, nothing in life is certain, excluding the fact that that one day we are all going to die. His feet are ruined by his everyday work, but this is a detail only noticed after some time spent contemplating the photo”.

Amm Rabia

“He is a guard of a garden in a property. he lives with his wife and four children in a space of around 15 square metres, surrounded by rats. It’s his life and does not want to change it, but is happy that the revolution took place as it gives him hope for his children’s future”.

About the photographic technique :

“During the exhibition of these works in Cairo, they were presented in a simple, small, framed format. The works to be displayed at the Inception gallery, on the other hand, are one metre in height, and of varying widths. Five examples of each work have been created in Diasec. Diasec is often criticised as a printing method because of the faults found throughout. Miguel-Angel Sanchez was reluctant to use this technique. In reality there are only two workshops which work in Diasec, and we had to invite a Belgian artist to help familiarise Sanchez with the technique before he was won over”.

Miguel-Angel Sanchez : “I try to create big stories out of small characters”

Paris 15 February, Art Media Agency (AMA)

Photographer Miguel-Angel Sanchez will be showing his work at the Inception Gallery in Paris until 25 February. The exhibition entitled “Alma del Mundo” has been very successful. The artist responded to a few of our questions.

Art Media Agency: You have created 110 photographs, 23 of which are currently on display at the Inception Gallery. Do you consider the entirety of these creations as one single work of art?

Miguel-Angel Sanchez: Yes, this is exactly why my wife and I came to Cairo. We read every one of Naguib Mahfouz’s Nobel Prize award winning books. These books created big stories out of small characters. I am trying humbly to do the same thing—to choose characters, not necessarily the noblest ones, but the most symbolic and interesting ones in order to tell a story about Cairo. It’s also why the exhibition is called, “Alma del Mundo”, Soul of the world, to highlight this element which unifies all the photographs.

AMA: When were these photographs created?

MA.S: I worked for two years; so I began well before the start of the revolution. It takes all photographers about two weeks to choose the lighting and the setting. I already knew most of the characters before I used them as models. I lived with them, I went to weddings, funerals, I drank tea with them. I didn’t want to just say, “Hey, come to my place, I’m going to take your picture.”

AMA: Why did you choose this style of lighting for your photographs? What’s the significance of this play on light-and-dark?

MA.S: I was inspired by 17th century Spanish and Italian paintings. It’s not just the lighting, rather the ability to make “secrets” of the photo come alive because of the lighting—like on a treasure map. This is obviously pretty difficult to do in photography, it’s not painting, we can’t just do whatever we want.

AMA: What helps you decide between a full-length shot and a tight shot for your photographs?

MA.S: It depends on the character, on the model. For Amm Rabia, the park’s security guard, there’s only his face because I wanted to portray things as I saw them everyday, sitting in the street and looking for the sun through the trees. I really focused on the model, on the character, on what inspired me, rather than on the framing of the photography itself.

AMA: Some of the photographs are clearly influenced by Christianity. Why did you make this choice?

MA.S: This is a very important influence for me. Just like the 17th century painters did, I used it to combine myth with reality with the help of symbols. My models are Arab, Muslim, Coptic…I take elements from these religions in order to stage my photographs. “The Mother of the World” represents a singer from the South of Egypt and I portray her as a Madonna because for me, she is the link between “before” and “during” the revolution.

The rebels of Cairo by Miguel Angel Sanchez at Inception gallery

Paris, 8 February 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Inception gallery (37, rue de Poitou in Paris) is exhibiting the work of Spanish photographer Miguel Angel Sanchez in the “El Alma del Mundo” exhibition, which is currently taking place until 25 February 2012.

In this exhibition, Miguel Angel Sanchez presents a series of Cairo rebels — as they were referred to in France’s Le Monde — during last 2011′s “Arab Spring”.

Taking inspiration from Caravaggio and de Ribera, the photographer has been creating majestic, almost theatrical portraits in a style reminiscent of 17th century works, since the beginning of the uprising.

These portraits do not depict the great figures of the revolution, but rather the ordinary people who have lived through it on a day-to-day basis. We see amongst them the image of a mother wearing a medallion, an effigy of the battered corpse of her son who was killed by police in June 2010, the blogger Zeinobia, a Cairo concierge, vegetable traders and Kirolos Nagy, a young political activist.

A graduate of the Palma de Madrid School of Arts, Sanchez received his first prize in 2005. From 2006 to 2011, he created a series of photo reports from Egypt and Libya for the Spanish newspaper El País. Sanchez, 34, is now based in Cairo.