Mustafa El Husseiny’s work is at the same time magical, symbolic, ironic and macabre. In his last body of work, El Husseiny uses media such as paper paste, acrylic, and collage to show what he came across during his walks through the cemetery in search of a way to reconnect with his late father. Dozens of small papers hidden in the cracks in the walls surrounding the tombstones, which he initially thought to be supplications or Koranic verses dedicated by visitors to their loved ones, turned out to be containing magical and allegorical symbols.
By carving blunt symbols of death, such as skulls and dissections of cadavres, as well as intelligible codes, formulae and numbers into paper paste, El Husseiny emulates the digging up of a past made of mysterious signs and re-conceptualises his personal research into an all-pervasive memento mori. Half-human and half-animal mythological beasts and deities-like creatures impose a fierce and bitter tone to his works, alluding to an uncommon form of sacrality. In a gloomy and restless atmosphere of death, feelings of uncertainty, nostalgia, grief and loss mingle, offering ample space for universal reflection on individual, historical, and collective memory.
El Husseiny graduated from Faculty of Art Education, Helwan University in 2014. He participated in a number of workshops and exhibitions in Cairo as part of the ‘Street Atelier’. Moreover, he co-founded the street art group ‘Mona Lisa Brigades’ in 2012, under which he participated in a number of developmental projects such as The People of Ard El-Lewa, funded by the British Council in Egypt.