Cairo Rose

In November of 2006, Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosny sparked a heap of controversy when he publicly commented about the resurgence of the Islamic veil among Egyptian women. Speaking in an interview with an Egyptian newspaper, Hosny said that woman are “roses not to be covered or veiled,” their beauty resembling that of a painting. He was making known his concern that Egypt was regressing by succumbing to fundamentalist influence. Needless to say, the shit hit the fan. Muslim leaders in Egypt and across the Middle East called for his resignation, saying Hosny was trying to smuggle away the Egyptian culture and sell it off to the West.

Would Hosny actually do that to his motherland? Well, it probably depends on your perspective. If you’re a fan of the veil, you might not be too happy with dear Farouk – who, good or bad, played an important role in bringing “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” to Fort Lauderdale last year. But then again, there are peeps of all types who think the veil is some antiquated, woman-hating bologna. Luckily, the two groups have not yet turned his latest exhibition, “Farouk Hosny: The Energy of Abstraction,” into a battlefield. See, Hosny’s not just a cultural critic, he’s also an abstract artist. So maybe you can pick up on his true motivations in the swirls of desert oranges and violets that grace his paintings, appearing now through April 15 at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale (One E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). General Admission costs $10. Call 954-525-5500, or visit www.moafl.org.
April 7-June 14, 2008

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John Linn