Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Jad Salman

Jad Salman  Mouse (2007)


Jad Salman was born in the Palestinian city of Tulkarm, in the West Bank in 1983. He is currently writing his thesis at Saint-Denis University (Paris 8). He already holds a master degree in «contemporary arts and new media» from Saint-Denis University in 2010, and a Bachelor degree in fine arts and interior design from the Al-Najah University, in Nablus.
His work has been shown in Greece, China, Spain, Germany, Japan, the United States and Dubai. He also benefited from several individual exhibitions in galleries or cultural centers in Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (France, 2009), Tours (France 2008), Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus, Nazareth and Gaza (Palestine, 2006), Trondheim (Norway, 2005). He has been living in Paris since 2008.

Palestinian Painter & Sculptor
PARIS - France

Hatto Fischer and Jad Salman                         In his studio in LaPlace, Paris 2010


Story of Jad Salman

2005  Torino: Youth festival organized by PEACE WAVES and Poiein kai Prattein - first meeting with Jad Salman while painting with others, including two girls from Israel, a peace mural

2007 ECCM Symposium 'Productivity of Culture' and Kids' Guernica Exhibition held at Zappeion in Athens, June to which Jad Salman brought a small mural painted by Palestinian children in Ramallah. There he met among others Michael D. Higgins, currently President of the Republic of Ireland.

Michael D. Higgins and Jad Salman                     Athens Oct. 2007

2008 - ongoing: life, studies and work in Paris

Since Jad Salman has settled down in his studio near the station of LaPlace, he has been mainly writing his thesis about wall murals as they exist in Palestine and how these murals are reflected in his work. At the same time, he experimented with colours and working on a larger surface.

In his studio brown paper spans two walls perpendicular to each other. At first he had put it just there to protect the walls against possible splashes of colours but when sitting there and enjoying one of his cigarettes, he kept thinking about this space. Then he could no longer bear the emptiness and started to draw on this paper shapes which resemble blood under the microscope or else cells of plants. The organic sense for life he has from having grown up in Palestine amidst an olive grove and his father showing him everything from plants to birds.

While studying at Saint Denis University, Paris, he had as one of his teachers Prof. Monique Kissel. She took her students on a trip to Hydra, Greece and became interested due to contact with Hatto Fischer in Kids' Guernica.

Jad Salman and Monique Kissel

Starting out from graphic design, he has worked himself over to be only a painter. He studied art in Nablus (2001 - 2005) and then moved on to Ramallah where he worked as graphic and interior designer (2005 - 2008) before coming to Paris.

Prise de Bastille - in memory of the French Revolution

Paris meant for him not only attending classes among others those given by Monique Kissel, but visiting as well exhibitions and getting to know fellow artists. At the same time, he learned the French language which he speaks fluently by now. And absorbing history can become complicated when there is at one and the same time the ongoing crisis in the Middle East while being reminded of the French Revolution whenever Line 1 of the Paris Metro passes through the station Bastille. For there are colourful mosaic portraits of the storming of the Bastille to be seen along the walls of the platform at that station. Symbolic references like these can make anyone wonder about the 'here and now' when confronted with reality not only far away, but in other parts of Paris.

For Jad Salman the devise became especially when going by Metro out to the far away and desolate place of Saint Denis - the university was banished from Vincennes to that location as part of the efforts by the French administration to put a tighter lid on students and their professors like Michel Foucault - as he would put it himself: "taking care not to get involved in a wrong fight." It meant not to be provoked by daring looks. Clearly that says someone coming from Palestine and knowing what the Intifada looks like, that this is not a common thing to accept street violence or violence of any kind. But it does not mean at the same time not to be afraid of a fight, only if necessary, then it must be the right kind of fight. And usually, so the reasoning of Jad Salman, many people forget that this proper fight is not about using one's fist or dirty language, but to seek for the long run something which will uplift people.

He has a keen sense for painting as being the equivalent to the Arabic way of writing. Only he adds colours and explodes in a way to let loose out of his wrist the paint brush. And then he confronts the order of repetition and of coercion. It is not Walter Benjamin's imagintion of the reproduction of art becoming possible in the industrial age of production. Rather the patterns showing repetitions contain variations but one has to take a closer look to notice them. In these variations lies a sense of freedom. Or it is a noticable pretense to do what one likes as if free but knowing fully this too has consequences. In that sense his painting take on a configuration of a personal philosophy unfolding in front of his eyes.

Bull grid - standing still or not                             Jad Salman 2009

The image of a bull is visible in its contours. It allows the spreading out of colours and schematic distortions where the face of the bull is usually to be found. The lines and patches of colour are sometimes distorted due to having become wet. It presses upon one's mind when noticing some of these signs in his paintings. Or lines curling back create horns to give shape to the bull very much as did Picasso when transforming objects into something else. This elevation to another level of meaning means the imagination responds to reality and vice versa.

2008 December - visit to Athens

Jad Salman came at the height of political unrest after the death of Alexandros, a fifteen year old boy. He had been killed by a policeman in Exarchia and then things exploded. Street fights and demonstrations, squatting of public buildings and sit-ins followed not only in Athens but throughout Greece. It was an outburst of more disgust with what society has become, namely deeply corrupt, than a true revolt even though it took many by surprise the extent to which the Anarchist movement had spred out and gained footage amongst the youth. Till then, and especially while at university, youngsters were radicalized and politicized at one and the same time through the constant conflict between the Conservative and Communist Party affiliates. Everything seemed blocked. However, Jad judged these events differently and out of his perspective of having gone through the Intifada experiences back in Palestine. That helped him to set the proportions right even though it is well known how political movements tend to exaggerate their own views and fears.

A little exhibition by Jad Salman took place in the office of Poiein kai Prattein




Smaller works exhibited in the office of Poiein kai Prattein


Action in Picasso's atelier


Studio in LaPlace



Jad in the kitchen of his studio





Wine and cheese as basis for good talks




Visit to Berlin in May together with other artists linked through Kids' Guernica in search of a gallery to do a joint exhibition. After a visit to the Academy of Arts - Akademie der Künste - we walked through the Hansa Quarters when Jad had to telephone!















In Feb. conference about "Kids' Guernica and European Capitals of Culture: the dimension of Peace" was held at Ghent University.


In November meeting in Berlin and together with Jula Dech we started to visit to University of Arts in Berlin and the Guggenheim gallery 'Unter den Linden' but set to close. At that time he met Jacques Naom of the Weekend Gallery. He encountered also Andjei Woron who gave him a lesson for life with his sound criticism of his art works. And Adriadne Ghabel purchased the painting called 'Wonderland'.

Wonderland                                                                               Jad Salman 2011



7th of September - Opening of Exhibition at Weekend Gallery

15th of November - Opening of Exhibiton in Paris / LaPlace

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