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Mohammed Musallam

painter, Palestine



     Mohammed Musallam was born in Gaza in 1974 after his family had been dislocated from the historic Palestine as a consequent of the 1948 war. He holds a Bachelor degree in Painting from Al Najah University and a Masters degree in Painting from Helwan University, Cairo. He currently resides in Gaza and works there as a lecturer of “Painting and the History of Palestinian Arts” at the College of Arts, Al Aqsa University.


     From his first steps as a university student he became greatly influenced by the abstract art processes and approaches.

     In his Art, he focuses on portraying a range of humanistic issues, which go beyond the limitations imposed by any prevailing time-related matters, which may be oppressive and persistent simultaneously. At the same time, he concentrates on conveying the notion of the preservation of our humaneness amid the harshness of our environment as one of the most important reasons for our existence.

     Through his choice of Abstract Art, Musallam tries to go beyond relying on the intuitive processes and he adds elements as thoughts, which may either stand out or 'submerge' in the work. By this, he attempts to place in a central position the human being, whose desires and dreams are oppressed by daily life and facts. The fact that Musallam resides in a very small and isolated place afflicted by brutal occupation and more recently by internal fights, has helped him to develop an important view about his relationship with his Art : his constant practice, research and creative approach to Art and tother humanistic sphere, helps him to comprehend humaneness and precisely, that freedom in Art becomes a reward for him for not being able to change the predominating reality.

His view on Art is that it is not valued by what it conveys but by the means of conveyance. He supports the view that Art is a language that starts visually and concludes with endless numbers of personal choices; that the subject may be initiated (or may not) by the artist with absolute liberty; and consequently that, the viewer may (or may not) receive it directly and may have the desire to grow the scope of the work “despite the holiness of its subject” into one that still maintains a high artistic value.

     Musallam uses various painting tools, materials and a range of different colors to convey different levels of the strength of expression. Papers, newspapers and pieces of clothes are often used in his works. He also finds expression in installations and video Art works. He also shares the common view that “fewer words that carry deep meanings are more effective than long texts and excessive elaboration”. In his Paintings one may observe single subjects (or objects) without much ornamentation, while his more installations and video art works maintain simplicity to a great extent, but they are still extremely charged emotionally.

     Mohammed Musallam continues his personal journey in the experimentation and creation of art works with deep meaning led by his thoughts and feelings and he searches new challenges while always understanding the artist's responsibility in novelty and contemporary thinking.

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