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         Mostafa Darwish immigrated to the United States from Egypt and is currently based in Minnesota. He graduated in 2016 from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with a bachelor’s degree and certificate of fine arts in painting. There he was distinguished with the Faculty Award for outstanding growth and community involvement, and awarded other academic awards. In the most recent years, Mostafa has been a curator, where he curated multiple emerging artists, group exhibitions, and projects. In 2019, he founded the “Codex Project”, which displays 20 artist art books annually in galleries. Mostafa is a recent awardee of the “New Mary Butler Purchase Award” in 2020, as he becomes the first Egyptian – American artist, to have his work purchased and becoming a part of the Pennsylvania Academy of fine arts museum permanent collection. Mostafa won multiple awards, grants and residencies throughout his career in art. Mostafa’s current work focuses on bringing his own experience of a different culture and exposure into a western environment, contrasting both East and West together to draw attention to political, cultural, and societal dissidence. Mostafa’s mediums vary from experimental gouache and inks on paper, academic and classical oil paintings, to sound and music-based video art, and installation art.


 Artist Statement


FiFinding a sense of belonging and a place to call home as a dislocated immigrant has been a challenging journey for both my personal and artistic life. As I continue to navigate Western society and culture, I am teaching myself to find solace in accepting my challenging life situation and embracing my identity. I have come to understand that home can be a concept that evolves with our life experiences; it is interchangeable, a conceivable hypothetical amenity that can never materialize and take a physical manifestation. It is something that we carry within ourselves, a part of our journey and heritage. 

Conceptually, my current body of work delves into specific social and political issues that I've experienced firsthand as a dislocated immigrant. Issues regarding struggles in finding a sense of home and belonging whether within communities or society, and inequalities of rights within Western culture. Through my art, I aim to address misconceptions about beliefs and cultural practices I observed in third-world countries that are inaccurately perpetuated in Western societies like the USA, as I will reflect upon how it shaped my complex identity, as well as contrasting them to Western values to draw attention to political, cultural, and societal dissidence.


       My immigration has impacted my understanding of my heritage and cultural context. Religious, political, cultural, and racial misconceptions are perpetuated in cultures generationally. It seems to me that most, if not all, societies are exploited by excessive political propaganda and hyperbole, whether through the media or false idealistic facts embedded within the culture. Furthermore, this leads to xenophobia and other exploitations of foreign societal or cultural beliefs within societies. Metaphorically speaking, I would represent my heritage culture as a box; anyone who crosses the boundary of conventionality will be labeled deviant. Where I least expected it, I found similar misconceptions in the first-world country I immigrated to. I concluded that the only difference between one culture to another is how much bigger the size of that metaphorical box is.



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