In the present lot, Adel El-Siwi paints five icons of extinct authority, naming them 'Five Kings'. They represent in his elongated signature silhouettes, few facets of a higher hierarchy. The Child King, Old King, Nubian King, the King of Shepherd and the King who fancies wearing women's clothes, he likes to play another role.
Five kings, part of the body of the nomadic group, have power without a place; kings who resemble their people, with no place for complete tyranny.
With a warm rich palette inspired by earthy tones of desert and sand winds, he set his majestic kings against the source of his inspiration and bathes them in an ancient gold. For he was inspired by his readings of the famous 'Arabian nights' also known universally as the thousand and one nights.
In one of these fantastic illusions, we meet simple kings, who have been so unlucky, despite the title. They have been lost and put under a magical spell which transformed them into ordinary human beings. El Siwi was mesmerized by this account of Fantasia, where magic had a strong effect on everyone. Through contemplating the fate of these kings, he imagined "The Five Kings" he knew, or relates to encountering a similar fate of turning to an ordinary life, where richness and glory is taken away from them, when all the gold surface is scratched and all they would be left with is reality, the brutal truth.
He painted them without fear, treating them as equals, not intimidated by their presence, by their acquisitions, their pets, their crowns. He was the 'King' applying his own spells on these Kings, turned normal figures in his work. El- Siwi's work has always another dimension of concept that resonates his political and social concerns in the cultural context and tackling issues of oppressed freedom and poverty in Egypt. The faces and elongated bodies reflects the needs, with the shared potentials and individualist feelings, they are always projecting both happiness with smirking smiles, and deep sadness with their open eyes. There is a great and heavy weight they are carrying in their reality, he offers them the balance and escape through his long windows of hope.