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Egyptian artist opts for hammer and nails over Paintbrush

Mar 28, 2016 Egyptian artist Mohamed Kotb recently started using a hammer and nails to create portraits of famous people and Egyptian icons.

Explaining the source of his new technique, he said:

“The idea of nails (art) is practised in Europe but it isn’t that popular. In the beginning I used to draw portraits using colours and paint brushes but I wanted to do something new, a new way of drawing and a new form of portraits, not just simply drawing using hammer nails. I started drawing portraits for famous personalities such as Om Kalthoum, Ghandi, Guevara, Abou-Treika, Mohamed Mounir. It’s something that exists, but is new and difficult, and isn’t common,”

Egyptian artist Mohamed Kotb

Depending on the material, Kotb either draws it with a pencil first or uses a special computer program to sketch his design.

“My method for the nail portraits… there are portraits like Abou Treika, or others that are made with drawing pins. They require computers more because it is based more on engineering than improvisational art that you do with your hands. There are other types (of art) that involve nails and thread that are similar to stencilling, where I first draw it with graffiti, and then it is placed on the picture and drawn with nails,”

In his portrait of Egyptian football player Mohamed Abou-Treika, he used about 7000 nails. However, Kotb has set his sight on a much larger ambition.

Egyptian artist Mohamed Kotb

“In the Guinness records there is an Albanian artist who used 500,000 nails. I want to do something with 700,000 or even a million nails, but my problem is that I need help. I need a large wall so I can create a panorama image of the Egyptian military during the October 6th war and I can get in the Guinness records,”

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