After studying economics, Moataz Nasr decided to change direction and take a studio in Old Cairo. As a self-taught artist, Nasr gained local recognition marked by various prizes before breaking onto the international art scene in 2001, notably winning the Grand Prix at the 8th International Cairo Biennale. Since then, he has participated in large international expositions such as the Venice, Seoul and Sao Paulo biennales and exhibited widely on an international platform. Today he is considered one of the more formidable representatives of pan-Arab contemporary art.
Unpacking the complex cultural processes currently underway in the Islamic world, Nasr’s work surpasses idiosyncrasies and geographical limits, voicing the worries and torments of the African continent on the whole. His practice has focused, however, on Egyptian society with its traditions, people and colours, without an agenda that might be seen as ‘navigating’ it through the lens of exoticism or cultural dislocation. To the contrary, his work remains close to quotidian preoccupations. In this case, Egypt is more of a mental backdrop, a territory inhabited by a people whose fragility is universal, just as indifference, powerlessness, solitude and weakness are inherent in human nature.