Basim Magdy

Townhouse Gallery

For the exhibition “On a Better Day Than This,” Egyptian artist Basim Magdy assembled more than thirty drawings and paintings produced over the past six years, along with two sculptures and a site-specific mural. Alternating between humorous and ominous, the small images—rendered variously in graffiti-style spray paint, gouache, stencil, and collage, among others—were hung in groups to resemble cryptic comic-strip narratives. The simplistic style and acid colors of the pictures, at once bold and opaque, were meant to both parody and underline the absurd messages of mass media.

The scenes bear acerbic titles such as Real Men, 2003, with spray-painted Day-Glo silhouettes of young soldiers slinging machine guns that convey a sense of psychedelic alarm and pop irony. Unsafe World, 2003, hints sarcastically at our perilously mediated distance from reality when a soldier—aiming his gun at the

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2008 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.