"I do not believe in the creation of a "national" art. We are not living in the time of the Pharaohs and consequently we do not need to be inspired by their art. Art does not need to be detached from life: it should express the forces of a living society. We will make an artificial oeuvre if we try to express the real world in Pharaonic terms. Since Egyptian Antiquity, art in Egypt has changed a great deal. First: the influence of Roman art, transformed into Coptic art only to metamorphose again later into Islamic art. Why then should we now return to Pharaonic art?
We are in the age of metal and sculpture must therefore accept these changes. Sculpture works through interaction with space; the Sun and the air are inside the creation of the statue. I no longer work the block starting from the surface: I start from the interior, working outwards to the exterior. One can be inspired by the masters of Ancient Egypt, but in my opinion the artist should not be forced to mimic the past. He no longer has to prepare his work meticulously, otherwise he risks its logic and integrity. I myself work without a pre-determined plan; I continue until I feel satisfied."
Extract from an interview "Un sculpteur de notre temps: Salah Abdel Kerim", given by Salah Abdel Karim in "L'Observateur Arabe" no. 176- 4 November 1963- pp.42-3 (translated from the French, published in Catherine and Nevine Abdel Karim, L'Oeuvre de Salah Adel Kerim, Cairo.