Abed Elmajid Shalabi (born 1991)


2019-2021             MFA Sculpture + Extended Media,  Virginia Commonwealth University,  Richmond VA, USA.

2015-2019             BFA Fine Arts, The multidisciplinary Art School at Shenkar College, Tel Aviv, Israel

2018                       Exchange Program, Berlin University of the Arts, Berlin, Germany 

2009-2012           Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, Jerusalem,. Israel. 

Artist statement

My artistic practice is always related to the human body and what is forced on it by the advanced-capitalist reality we live in. In my work I deal with the emotional state compelled by artificial systems like mass-production, internet, modern economy, pornography and pop culture, and the way it shapes and defines my personal experience and identity.

Growing up in the 90’s in a small village close to the historic city of Nazareth, I witnessed the globalization process of the local native culture. The values of the Muslim education I received were challenged by Hollywood movies, pop music and western Advertising. The western new culture had a seductive aesthetics that apparently  promised a better and freer life and was seen as a sign of modernity and advancement. This artificial aesthetic is the starting point for my artistic practice. Additionally a lot of my works are dealing with my experience as a Palestinian living in Israel and the conflicts around my identity, its limits and its fluidity.

In my early works like More Than 100 Orgasms and Double Bed the main essue is sexuallity and sexual repretion. In my recent ceramic and metal sculptures I deal with the question of identity and globalization. Works like Two Eagles deal with political questions about class and labor in the post-colonial era and class suppression in Israel-palestine. Works like XXXL and No Excuses are about masculinity and male identity in a post-internet era and are inspired by the global instagram fitness and bodybuilding culture. Works like WATCH YOUR STEP and DBLF6710 ,that were made during my stay in Berlin, uses elements with an industrial look that I see as universal.
In my ceramic works I combine both industrial and polished looks with rough and organic edges in order to create a material complexity that deludes the viewer. I don't use traditional ceramic techniques but i work with 3D models, laser cuts and experimental casting techniques.
My metal works lie between abstraction and the reality, they are designed to look familiar and industrial and they are dealing with questions of stability and balance that makes them look emotionally detached and expressive at the same time.  By using hyper-realistic or ready-made objects I believe I create a direct connection with the viewers' emotions and memories.