My heart ached when I read this morning that leading Palestinian artist Ismael Shammout had passed away on July 4th. Shammout committed his life’s work to Palestine, it’s culture, it’s people, and to the art of liberation.
self portrait of the artist
Shammout was seventeen when on July 13, 1948, he was evicted from his home along with the majority of the population of Al Lydd, after which he ended up in the refugee camp of Khan Younis where he painted the suffering of women and children. Shammout organized his first exhibit in 1950 in this very refugee camp.
Ironically, Shammout’s career as an artist and popular hero of Palestine began with his 1953 exhibition of oil paintings in Gaza of the catastrophic march through wilderness, on his death, the world was suffering news of the latest attacks on Shammout’s Gaza.
What a loss to the art world, what a loss to Palestine.
My sincere condolences to his wife, Palestinian artist Tamam Il-Akhal.