leila heller gallery

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The Revolutionary, No-Bullshit Art of ganzeer

“In Egypt, no one would buy a drama where the cop was a hero,” Ganzeer told me. “The story people buy is one where an unjust cop does evil things to the protagonist.”

Ganzeer is the pseudonym of a 32-year-old Egyptian artist who became famous during therevolution. He’s also a friend with whom I like to drink. Earlier this month, few days after his first US solo show opened at New York’s Leila Heller Gallery, we sat in the cement cave in the back of Interferance Archive that serves as his studio and talked.

He conceived of the concept for his show, titled All American, only a few months after his May 2014 move from Cairo to New York. NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo had just choked Eric Garner to death. Anti-police protests were blossoming across America. Murder by cop became an inescapable subject, and one he wanted to confront on its home turf.

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