Born in 1949, El-Shark grew up in Minya. Art was a significant part of his childhood, and his early drawings reflect a youth spent amid the lush Nile greenery and Pharaonic ruins in the nearby desert cliffs. He recalls “I used to spend all my free time painting and my teachers encouraged me to draw during primary school.” Part of the uniqueness of El-Shark’s work lies in the use of natural colors which he personally makes out of stones, plants, flowers and natural herbs. The artist was invited to Bogota to help researchers from the University of Colombia study “how these colors are made.” His work in South America earned him an honorary doctorate from the university and a patent from Colombia for his paints. Museums in Paris, Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Mexico have acquired his works, and El-Shark has received works from other artists in exchange. In 2010, El-Shark decided to transform his village home into a museum. “I wanted to bring all my works together in one place and also do something for the people of my village,” he recounts. The transformation of El-Shark’s home cost more than LE 1 million and obliged him to sell the land he inherited from his father. “But it was totally worth it and now I have the biggest treasure.”

97 x 70 cm

69 x 85 cm

67 x 78 cm

67 x 78 cm