Sida is perhaps most well-known for his dynamic palette and use of vibrant, unmixed primary colours. These have tended to dominate the artist’s style from his early works through to the calligraphic compositions of his later career. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Sida decided to continue his artistic education in the United States. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1950 which allowed him to develop his artistic practice at the University of Minnesota, before studying and later exhibiting at Columbia University in New York.
Sida’s early work mainly focuses on themes pertaining to Egyptian country life and Cairene city life, painted in a naïve style with thick impasto. Following his exposure to the American art scene throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he was inspired by the American Pop Art movement. Upon his return to Egypt in the 1960s, he further developed his oeuvre to “Arabize” pop art. Sida began experimenting with Arabic calligraphy, which we see demonstrated in the present work. Using a two-dimensional format, and incorporating the aesthetic influences of Pop, Sida’s ‘Pop Calligraphy’ cast the artist as an avant-garde figure in the artistic landscape of Egypt in the 1960s.
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