«

»

WORLDVIEWS/ Illustrated map of the Mediterranean #5

CULTUREDesigner Ibraheem YoussefDopo Libano, Iran, Israele e Turchia, la mappa illustrata di FocusMéditerranée si arricchisce di un nuovo tassello, ma questa volta lasciamo per un momento il Mediterraneo, per raggiungere Boston. Qui vive Ibraheem Youssef, illustratore e graphic designer, nato ad Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) 32 anni fa da padre egiziano e madre canadese.

Cresciuto tra il Cairo e Toronto, due metropoli lontanissime e profondamente diverse, Ibraheem si è formato al College of Fine Arts di Zamalek, al Cairo, dove ha studiato anatomia, scultura, storia dell’arte faraonica, islamica e copta, incisione del legno e pittura. Poi il suo percorso ha preso una nuova direzione: trasferitosi in Canada, ha proseguito i suoi studi alla Ontario College of Art & Design e si è specializzato in graphic design e art direction, esperienza che lo ha traghettato nel mondo della pubblicità. Proprio grazie alla pubblicità, Ibraheem ha avuto la sua grande occasione: da sempre appassionato di cinema, ha deciso di pubblicare sul suo sito una serie di locandine ispirate alle pellicole di Quentin Tarantino, che dovevano rappresentare una sorta di ricompensa per tutti i fan del regista.

“So far film trailers give away too much and I wanted to produce an antidote – spiega l’illustratore – to give away the whole movie, but in a very coy way. I did it for fun, thinking they would look cool on my wall”. In meno di due giorni la sua pagina flickr è passata da 2mila a 32mila visite, e il suo sito ha raggiunto punte di 500mila hits. Il passo successivo? Una chiamata dalla NBC Universal per l’autorizzazione ad usare in tutto il mondo la sua locandina di Inglorious Basterds per la campagna marketing del film.

Oggi è un artista pluripremiato e riconosciuto dalla stampa internazionale (the Guardian, The Independent, Wired Magazine, Der Speigel, El Pais, ecc.). Oltre ad essere presente con le sue opere nelle gallerie di tutto il mondo, Ibraheem ha voluto riunire 20 artisti e designers egiziani per una collettiva dal titolo significativo: Cairo 20×20: un’esposizione nella quale mostrare – senza limitazione di mezzo espressivo – ciò che la città di origine rappresenta per ognuno di loro. I 20 nomi includono, tra gli altri, Ganzeer, pseudonimo di Mohamed Fahmi dietro il quale si nasconde uno dei più celebri “writer” della “graffiti wave” egiziana, noto (non solo) in patria per gli interventi visivi sui muri del Cairo durante la Rivoluzione araba e arrestato il 26 maggio 2011 dalla polizia militare egiziana per il suo poster dal titolo The freedom mask.

Worldviews#5_aprile13_Ibraheem Youssef

Pulpfiction. Illustration by Ibraheem Youssef
Pulpfiction. Illustration by Ibraheem Youssef
Zissou. Illustration by Ibraheem Youssef.
Zissou. Illustration by Ibraheem Youssef.
Reservoir dogs. Illustration by Ibraheem Youssef
Reservoir dogs. Illustration by Ibraheem Youssef
Akira. Illustration by Ibraheem Youssef
Akira. Illustration by Ibraheem Youssef
Grendaizer. Illustration by Ibraheem Youssef
Grendaizer. Illustration by Ibraheem Youssef

What illustration means to you?
It is an expression of how one feels. An expression where style is ever present and aesthetic is given the highest regards.

Which was your first illustration?
I used to draw in mini text books when I was younger. That would be it.

What kind of technique do you prefer and what colors you use the most and why?
My favorite technique would be thinking. Sometimes that is done by using my mind and sometimes by using the pencil. That is what consumes most of my time.

Which colors do you associate to your Country?
Yellow and orange.

Where do you get your inspiration?
My biggest sources of inspiration would be traveling and people. I love the feeling of meeting an unknown, who drives me beyond belief.

What are the most common topic in the illustrated books of your Country?
Mostly humor and insecurities, seem to be the most prevalent issue. Which says a lot about where the moral compass of the Country is. By insecurities I mean the hopes and fears that are manifested within people, towards their future or regarding their past. It’s mostly represented in books that drive to satisfy immediate curiosities.

How did the recent years mutations change the way of illustrating stories in your Country?
In a very positive way. I think that for the first time ever, people are finding their voice and that has become very evident in the creative culture, not just illustration. We are enjoying an unprecedented era of freedom of speech, but the biggest part of that freedom is not just reveling in the usage of it, but learning how to listen to others that use it as well. We need to start caring about and for each other. And yes, I mean it as creative.

How much the current events have affected in Egypt the way of representing reality and fiction in the stories?
It has a huge effect, everything is different now. It’s like starting from a new age completely. And it can be a great thing and a bad thing too, because it’s so overwhelming. But mostly, I consider it positive, because for the longest time there was censorship. Now things are more open and people can finally speak up and it’s really reflected in stories.

If I ask you to represent the Mediterranean today, what image would you choose in order to make young people understand how this area is now changing and evolving?
This is the season of the tide. The Mediterranean is sending wave after wave, and the high tide will wash away a lot of the old and bring in so much new. I mean ways of thinking, ways of understanding and interpreting the world around those young people. The future is young, so young, because the Revolutions in the area were started by them and they have complete ownership over it. I’m both excited and eager to see how bright the Mediterranean region will shine again.

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *