Profile: The master of print & poster art, Mustafa Al Hallaj



Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 08:41 GMT


Tue, 12 Sep 2017 - 08:41 GMT

Artwork [Mustafa Al Hallaj Facebook page]

Artwork [Mustafa Al Hallaj Facebook page]

CAIRO – 12 September 2017: The history of Arab Contemporary Arts is full of prominent icons. Egypt Today sheds light on some of the prominent works of the renowned late Palestinian artist Mustafa Al Hallaj.

Al Hallaj was born in Salame, Jaffa in 1938, but after the Palestinian Nakbah (The 1948 Palestinian Exodus) he moved to Egypt.

In Egypt, he studied at the faculty of fine arts in 1963, and attended Atelier Luxor for his postgraduate studies in 1968.

He was the first Palestinian artist who studied sculpture in an academic way. In 1964, he displayed his works in an exhibit in Cairo.

He lived in Egypt for more than 25 years; focusing on reflecting the Egyptian, Canaanite, and Phoenician arts. He was awarded the Prize of Sculpture in Cairo in 1968.


His works include posters, paintings, graphics, murals, illustrations, cover designs, and etchings.

The Art of Resistance is the main characteristic of Al Hallaj artistic works, as he portrayed the pain of being a traveler between three main Arabic cities: Cairo, Damascus, and Beirut, the resistance against Israel, and expressing the soul of revolutions.


The essence of his visual techniques is the use of black and white that reflects the mythology.

During his resistance in Beirut, he lost more than 25, 000 artistic works, but managed to save the wood and masonry cuts he used to make them.
He founded and directed the Art Gallery that was established in the memory of Naji Ali in 1987.

His most famous works are his self portrait, “God”, and “the Devil” mural. He also made the longest mural in the history of Graphic Art called “Ertegalat El Hayah”.
The mural measured 114 meters tall, and 30 centimeters in width. It includes 126 scenes; they are taken from the journey of the Palestinian through history and their journey of resistance.


He won a number of international and national acts in Biennale Tunisia and Biennale Alexandria.

He was a founding member of the trade union committee of the General Union of Palestinian Writers and Journalists, and member of the Managing Committee of the General Union of Palestinian Abstract Artists in Syria.

He died in 2002 due to a fire that was set to his gallery at Naji Ali place while he was trying to rescue his works.


After one year of his death, a number of artists organized an exhibit to display a mural in Black and White colors as a tribute to Al Hallaj.

Some of his works are exhibited in a Palestine exhibition at Station Museum of Contemporary Arts in Huston, USA.



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