Wael Darwish’s painting projects in the past few years were inspired by American Color Field painting and French Lyrical Abstraction, where large “fields” of flat solid color colonize harmoniously large areas of the canvas to create a homogenous surface of flat picture plane, stressing on the overall consistency of form over the brush movement and brushstrokes. Contrary to standard Color Field and Lyrical Abstraction Darwish for years have successfully combined abstraction styles and painterly techniques with elements of figuration and cognitive representation.

In his 2010 works, Wael Darwish uses his cumulative experience as a painter as well as an interdisciplinary artist to create canvases that uses photography as a base for his brush, eliminating along the way backgrounds. In this process, the artist creates, and narrates, an alternative reality for the figures that filled the planes of the initial photograph. The streets of Cairo act as a location much representative of contemporary Middle Eastern urban cities; ordinary citizens dwell the streets and alleys alongside soldiers and traffic policemen. Every photographed or painted individual play a different role while interacting with each other in a universe that is almost hyperreal. Darwish attempts to extend the limits of standard painting, and expands the battery of symbols proposed by this medium by accumulating what photography can add to the canvas: frozen reality, depth of field, and more visual symbols that Jean Baudrillard proposed –in his seminal work on simulation and simulacra– as defining our contemporary over-industrialized societies today.