Farewell to the great portrait artist Issam Azzouz – Ehab El Mallah

Farewell to the great portrait artist Issam Azzouz – Ehab El Mallah

Posted in: Saturday, February 19, 2022 – 10:45 PM | Last update: Saturday, February 19, 2022 – 10:45 PM

in calm and tranquility, and asceticism in lights and fame; The great and capable artist Issam Azzouz (1953-2022), one of the most talented, most important and largest of our plastic artists, in the last four decades, passed away.

Issam Azzouz, who lived his life as a nomadic expatriate, spreads his art, colors, designs and portraits, in Egypt and throughout the Arab world, and fills the world with creativity, joy and unforgettable works. He finally passed away at the age of 69 years in the city of Ontario, Canada; The displaced he and his family chose for more than two decades. Many years of practical technical experience exceeding 40 years, during which he worked in various fields of fine arts; Such as drawing, design, and art direction for many newspapers and magazines, with the quality and elegance of his exquisite artworks.

Issam Azzouz left works that testify to his great talent and high artistic abilities. Painting, portraiture, in which he excelled in a special skill and became a leading science in his drawing and composition, designing covers, designing decorations, and other fields and arts of design and drawing, all of that in addition to his skill in the art of caricature, in which he presented wonderful works in his first home, Al-Ahram newspaper.

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Perhaps the most famous of what Essam Azzouz presented over his artistic journey full of creativity and works is his creative artistic project “Egyptian Faces” and “The Happy Stars,” through which he wanted to artistically chronicle in feather and color for the great Egyptian flags and its distinguished sons in all fields; Writers, poets, thinkers, scientists and artists… He presented dozens of wonderful portraits that spoke of genius, humanity and creativity, to put his name alongside the most famous of those who presented this type of formation in our contemporary artistic history. With Jamal Qutb, Muhammad Abu Talib, and others, who excelled in drawing personal portraits, and their portraits became artistic, cultural and creative icons that gained their fortunes in spreading and popularity.

One of the most famous portraits drawn by Issam Azzouz, and it spread like wildfire on the social media, and it became the official picture or the most famous “portrait” of its owner; The genius doctor of hearts, Magdy Yaqoub, the artist Abu Dhakah Janan Ismail Yassin, the musician of generations Mohamed Abdel Wahab, the weeping laughter, the great poet Kamel El-Shennawy, the father of Arab theater Tawfiq Al-Hakim, the genius of the Arabic novel Naguib Mahfouz, the magician Khairy Shalaby, and dozens of other portraits.

in his later years; And through his personal page, which represented an unprecedented artistic and aesthetic oasis, Issam Azzouz attracted thousands of followers of his art, drawings and works, which he began to publish regularly and intensely during the period from 2012 until he stopped due to his illness in 2019. Perhaps this period is one of his most fertile human and artistic periods, after he felt the high response to his work after He posted it on Facebook, and I imagine that this has relieved to some extent a deep feeling of bitterness, frustration and injustice, as well as the disregard of activists of the artistic and plastic movement in Egypt. He took care that I did not find a single article about the man, nor a single article analyzing his works, and he filled the world with joy, art and beautiful and wonderful drawings.


Essam Azzouz started his artistic life as a theater decorator with the “Egyptian Artists” group, which was led by author Hossam Hazem. This professional experience added a different artistic experience by working with theater stars and pioneers in Egypt during the period from late 1973 until July 1982. Among the most famous plays that he designed or executed for their decorations are: “You have a day, Zorba” starring Hala Fakher and Waheed Seif, the play “A Quarter of a Dozen Ashrar” starring Laila Taher and Sherihan, and the play “The Man Says No” starring Saeed Abdel Ghani and Farida Seif Al-Nasr. He designed the decorations and artistic advertising posters for the play “By Bye Kanpura”, which was shown on the Arab Music Theater, and starring Sayed Zayan, Raja Hussein, Saeed Abdel Ghani, and Tayseer Fahmy, and directed by Awad Mohamed Awad.

Artist Issam Azzouz was able to combine different artistic experiences, participated in many successful exhibitions, and designed many magazine and book covers for major writers around the Arab world. All this in addition to his work in the press, as all these diverse and unique experiences have added a special character that has new dimensions to his artwork.

It can be said that the experience of the great and capable artist, Issam Azzouz, is an integrated one, rich in technical expertise and skills. One of his tasks was to design and implement theater banners and street advertisements, in addition to advertisements for newspapers and magazines, and he proved his worth and distinction through his success in accomplishing all of this with the same degree of skill, craftsmanship, quality and high creativity.


It was – may God have mercy on him – a very special human and technical case. He drew me through his stances and dialogues (however rare) that he was very proud of his art and drawings, and never accepted to vulgarize his art and works. He believed that the artist is unique and special, and that his works and paintings are what express and talk about him. Respectable art exhibitions should be organized for circulation and sale in a manner that preserves the artist’s dignity, and allows him to create and practice his art in an atmosphere of calm and stability.

I was linked with the artist Essam Azzouz, an old and deep friendship and paternity, and after he joined the social media, many correspondences took place between us, in which he was a friendly person, a great and capable artist, with a high taste and delicate sensitivity. I would have liked to see him and talk to him, but the deadline was earlier.. May God have mercy on him and put him in peace.

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