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Egyptian visual artist Ramzy Mostafa dies at 90

The late artist experimented with an amalgam of art mediums, including pop art, photography and ceramic art

Samah Ibrahim , Tuesday 22 Dec 2015
Ramzy Mostafa
Late visual artist Ramzy Mostafa (Photo: Al Ahram)

Visual artist Ramzy Mostafa died at the age of 90, after a rich artistic journey spanning 65 years of creativity.

In his works, he combined an amalgam of art mediums, including photography and ceramic art, and was among the avant-garde of modernist artists.

Mostafa was born in Daqahliya in 1926 and studied at the Faculty of Applied Arts, the Fine Arts Academy of Bologna and the Royal College of Art, London, in addition to other schools in Prague, Moscow and the U.S.

The late artist held solo and group exhibitions, and represented Egypt in a number of international exhibitions. His repertoire also comprises research studies, and other major contributions in the fields of theatre and visual art.

He also received a number of awards throughout his art career, including The King Fouad Medal for Arts and Sciences, the Khedive Ismail Medal for Arts, the Egyptian state Encouragement Award in Sculpture, in addition to many other awards that adorn his rich artistic journey.

Pop art played an integral role in Mostafa’s life, and he was interested in presenting a kind of art that converses with the environment surrounding it. As such, he strived to present three-dimensional works.

His last contribution to the Egyptian art movement was at the General Art Exhibition held at the Palace of Arts in May. Mostafa presented a painting of the Egyptian flag, before traveling to Germany one week later for medical reasons.

In this last painting, Mostafa painted the Egyptian flag surrounded by a number of children’s shoes, and wrote the words Long live Egypt, The Egyptian army, and Egypt: mother of the world. A number of visual artists were dismayed by this work of art and asked to pull it out from the exhibition.

In response, Mostafa explained his artistic vision, and asserted that the painting was meant as a work of pop art, and that he employed children’s shoes as an allegory that they are the leaders of the future, who inspire their country towards a better path.

Mostafa's last solo exhibition in Egypt was titled ‘Egypt Above All’ and was held in 2012 at the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art.

In this exhibition, Mostafa, a creative and prominent artist, presented a serious and genuine attempt at creating a design for a memorial that celebrates Egypt’s 25 January revolution and its martyrs. His exhibition also included a special collection of paintings, which tugged at the concepts of unity and co-existence. 

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