Forty original unpublished drawings by the late Egyptian poet and ground-breaking cartoonist Salah Jahin are on display in an exhibition at Cairo’s historic Bayt Al-Suhaymi.
The works illustrate how, in the hands of a multi-talented artist like Jahin, caricature could move beyond the realm of politics and capture a country’s spirit as well, said Samir Abdul-Ghani, an Egyptian cartoonist.
Before Jahin, Abdul-Ghani explained, Egyptian caricature was mere political satire. “Then Jahin came with a school of artists at Sabah El-Kheir magazine linking political and social aspects, and presented them with a flavor of his countrymen’s humor,” he said. “He had a cheerful style.”
The exhibition is being held in cooperation with the Egyptian Caricature Association and Egypt’s Caricature Museum, in Fayoum.
As Egypt’s most famous contemporary cartoonist, Jahin, who lived from 1930 to 1986, gained fame in the 1950s after his poems and drawings started to appear in magazines like Rosa El-Youssef and Sabah El Kheir. Later on, he edited the latter magazine before moving to work at Al-Ahram newspaper. For more than 20 years, Jahin continued to publish his cartoons daily until he had to stop for health reasons.
The works in the exhibition include 30 of Jahin’s drawings for Sabah Al-Khair, while the other 10 are works he produced for Al-Ahram.