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Sculpture Mustafa Ali creates sculptures from remnants of war to express will of returning to life

The plastic artist Mustafa Ali has occupied a special place in Syrian and international sculpture through a long journey rich in creativity and out-of-the-ordinary experiences that reflect his own visions of life and people as if he were scooping ideas from an inexhaustible well.

Sculptor Ali began his career with sculpture from an early age in his coastal environment. He studied at the College of Fine Arts, then he held his first solo sculptural exhibition in 1988, which was for works made with  bronze, the difficult in sculpture art.

Regarding his journey in the world of sculpture, Ali said that the main subject that always attracts me is the human being and the expressive method of producing the artwork without paying any attention to the external form but to the essence .

The main theme that Ali seeks to embody through his sculptures is the story of man’s search for immortality and the philosophy of the relationship of form to emptiness in addition to the impact of  environment and geography of the place on man which played a major role in shaping and forming his works.

Since his childhood,   Ali experienced with clay material, after that he entered the world of bronze metal, that noble material that lives a long time. Then he worked on synthesizing wood with bronze metal to move afterwards to work with wood material with which he  accomplished huge works. Then he presented his rich experience with minerals such as iron and chrome and the remnants of the ruins left by the war.

Regarding the impact of the war in his work, Ali said: “The war had a great psychological impact on all Syrians, but when the effect interacts with reality it becomes positive. During the past ten years, I have produced works from the remnants of war and from the shrapnel that have struck my country and created forms based on destruction but with the will to return to life.” 

Ali considers his home in old Damascus as his heaven that he loves, which prompted him to turn it into a gallery, which today has become a cultural and artistic institution that has its place on the map of active cultural sites.

About the gallery, Ali said: “We have cultural projects that have contributed to the revitalization of the artistic movement in Damascus over the past years. Our doors have been open to all art lovers from the public and to all artists, especially young people, because I believe that changing reality for the better comes through art as it is a basic and necessary need in human life. “.

Ali pointed out that Syrian art during the war on Syria created a state of interaction between the artist and reality through adopting new style, themes and colors- so Syrian artists formulated themselves anew to resist what happened to their country.

Ali, who did not stop for a moment from artistic production, confirms that he now has ten thousand preliminary drawings for works awaiting implementation of various sizes that carry renewal in his work in a manner that strongly expresses the difficult reality that Syrians lived through the years of the war. He noted that he treated himself with art and put all his ideas on social websites with the aim of conveying the message that the Syrian people are capable of creativity and giving in the most difficult conditions.

It is noteworthy that the artist, Mustafa Ali, was born in Lattakia in 1956, graduated from the Department of Sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Italy. His works are acquired in Syrian and Arab museums. He has held numerous individual exhibitions inside and outside the country and participated in many international forums and won several prizes, including the bronze award in the Biennial of Sharjah and the Golden award in the Biennial of Lattakia and the Prize of the Arab World Institute in Paris, for a huge sculpture with a horizontal area of 36 square meters. He was chosen among the 100 most important Arab personalities for the year 2007, according to Arabian Business magazine.

Inas Abdulkareem  

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