Explaining his work and his influences, Mustafa Ali cites a combination of Western modernists and local civilizations. However, he explains: “The main subject that constantly attracts me is the human being.”
Born in Lattakia, Mustafa Ali (1956) graduated from the Department of Sculpture, Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus University in 1979 and obtained a degree from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Carrara, Italy in 1996. He founded the Mustafa Ali Art Gallery & Foundation and Al Makan Art Association to promote Syrian cultural events.
Sculpting in a variety of materials from wood to bronze, Ali’s oeuvre references emotion, psychological states, and past civilisations. Working in different expressionist styles, his sculptures include whimsical emotive figures, history-inspired busts, and abstracted ancient faces. He has been commissioned to create public monuments including The Gate of Syria for the Mediterranean Olympics, Pari, Italy; Tower of Memory, Damascus International Fairgrounds; and The Damascene Sword, Omayyad Square, Damascus, (co-produced with Ehsan Antabi).
Ali’s artworks are housed in public collections in Damascus including the Syrian Ministry of Culture, the Presidential Palace and National Museum while internationally his work can be found at The Contemporary Art Museum, Jordan; Sharjah Museum; Royal Palace of Madrid; and the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris.