Wassef Boutros-Ghali [b. 1924, Cairo, Egypt] is a Cairo-based painter who, despite being born into a family of politicians, showed an early proficiency in the arts. He later joined the studio of Jaro Hilbert, a classically trained painter who became Boutros-Ghali’s mentor. Eventually, Boutros-Ghali left his political legacy to pursue a career in architecture. He served as a technical consultant for the environment and urbanism with the United Nations, and executed building in Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Sudan. All the while, he continued his artistic practice.
His evolution as an artist was also precipitated by restrictive circumstance. Political revolution and a necessary relocation in 1963 constrained his use of materials and access to supplies. Yet, he created an experimental body of work that continued to inform his practice. His time in New York in 1971 also elevated his practice as he was reinvigorated by the New York art scene of the time. Larger canvases and abstracted forms became more prominent. In 1985, he returned to Cairo where he continues to use vibrant colors to show motion and energy. His compositions imply scenes of myth and reality, balancing the simplicity of daily life with imagination with abstraction.