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Nourine Hammad: Reality Check

CairoScene sits down with Nourine Hammad, an amateur artist who has recently turned towards the compelling hyperrealist movement in art, creating pieces that are so vivid you could pick them up off the paper.

Nourine Hammad is a 24 year old artist living in Cairo, currently working as a software developer at IBM, with a hidden artistic talent of cloning subjects onto paper with an intense attention detail known as hyperrealism. It’s a movement in art that has gained steam since the early 2000s, an off-shoot of photorealism that evolved from Pop Art in the late 60s. Gazing into some of her works creates a sensational optical illusion. Her works are so excruciatingly simple and complex at the same time it’s hard to believe they’re even drawings and not the real thing. We have a chat with Hammad about her unique artistic expression and process…

What first attracted you to making hyper-realistic art....

Hyperrealistic art is full of details and it astonishes you when you first look at it. It is very difficult for some to believe that it is a painting and not real. When you paint something you come to realize every single detail, the physics of the object, the reflection, and the depths. Nowadays, the thing that attracts most and draws your attention is the HD and high quality, the same goes for paintings, the more real it is the more impressive it becomes. Painting evolves just as technology does.

I am a person who loves details and I see them in everything. I use to paint in 2D and I wanted to upgrade until I feel I can grab it and not believe it is a painting myself. It all happened since last month, I started drawing 3D objects starting with a simple water droplet with the little resources I had. Then it became a challenge to develop and make more complicated objects.

How do you choose your subjects? Are the objects related to a certain theme or is it just anything that captures your eye?

Right now I am discovering the different angles of my potential. The objects are not related to any theme but I want to make different materials and textures to make you feel them with your eye just as you would with your finger tips.

How long on average does it take to create one of these pieces?

It depends. But the first painting, which is the water droplet, took an hour. But the more sophisticated the drawing is, the more time it takes. So the last one I made, which is the bag of chips, took 13 hours, because it’s not as simple as the water droplet. So far, the maximum amount was two days.


When did you realize you could first draw? How did you first get into art?

My parents realized that I could draw the moment I held a pencil in my hand. I stopped painting for approximately 8 years but started painting again two yearsago.

What inspires you to make art?

I am inspired by the truth in the people, the animals, and/or the objects reflect. The more details I see in them, the more motivated I am to paint them. But what inspires me most and urges me to continue is the challenge to learn and see the effect of my drawings on people. First I want to paint the objects as they are, with all their depths, details, perfections, or lack thereof. Then I want to paint them the way I see them, adding my own perception to them. Then I want to move to drawing them the way I want others to see them. Then finally, i want to add a message in each of my paintings reflecting what I hope the people around me can change in the world.

From creations like the owl and the African woman to the hyper-realism pieces, how do you feel like your art has developed over the years, and what kind of processes do you go through before each piece?

When I was really young, I loved painting cartoons. But two years ago, I started painting 2D portraits, animals, and others. But hyperrealistic drawings started a month ago, and it resulted in the drawing of 7 hyper-realistic art drawings. 

Who are your main artistic influences?

I am influenced by Pedro Campos, Ben Weiner, Marcello Barenghi and Lee Price.

Have you exhibited anywhere? If not do you have any plans to do so?

No I have not but, I am planning to display my drawings next month.

Keep up to date with Nourine Hammad's art on her fanpage and Instagram.


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Movement Course w/ Ahmed Azmy @ CCDC
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PILATES WALK-IN CLASS @ CCDC
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'Tanagra'  @ Art Corner  Zamalek
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Filmmaking w/ Mohamed Nader @ Studio ZAT
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