°1987, Baghdad (Irak)
Lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium

Moataz was born in Baghdad in 1986. He moved to Belgium in 2009 and is based in Antwerp. He studied painting at the royal academy of fine arts in Antwerp . 

Liberating the canvas from the constraints of its supporting role, the artist pushes parameters of what determines a painting. Moving away from ‘the traditional rectangular painting’, Alqaissy’s work introduces a shift in visual hierarchy, liberating the canvas from its frame and turning an historically inferior element, into the dominant, primary part of the work.


Alqaissy’s works are characterised by layers of canvas (linen, cotton but also sailcloth), glued on top of each other, or nailed ‘casually’ on the wall. His works incorporate assorted house-hold materials (walls or wood paints and other wall treating, fillers, wires, tie-wraps…) or sometimes even recycled patches of older work. In addition, the artist experiments with mounting canvas on various surfaces (without losing its dominant presence) such as PU-foam. While elevating the role of these ‘supporting materials’, he forms and sculpts his paintings in a way that they convey a rather raw or violent feeling.


Moataz Alqaissy finds inspiration in many domains, from the history of art, to ancient civilizations , antiquities, and childhood/early adulthood memories in Baghdad, which it has been shaped by severe violent political changes. Being born and raised in Iraq, and currently living in Belgium, Alqaissy is balancing between two cultures. Since he left his homeland, the artist continuously investigates the relationship between ‘place’ and ‘oneself’, how space influences the body or how it can be incorporated in his work. This can sometimes be taken literally when patterns of the wall and floor of his studio find their way on to the canvas by means of using crayon or a paint roller – forming a dialogue between the space where the work is created, and the ‘skin like’ organic look of the canvas. Although Alqaissy’s approach seems rather formal; each work has its own meaning and story. It determines the shape, colour palette and idea behind each piece. However, the artist refuses to manifest himself as explicitly activist and considers his paintings as a mere extension of himself and his background. By detaching the canvas from its classical function, his paintings manifest as new forms, subtly expressing human emotions, while creating new spatial experience.

“My paintings are in constant dialogue with the history of painting from the  past til the present. Liberating the painting from the wooden frame gives the canvas a bigger role in the visual hierarchy of the painting. The works are inspired by the memory of my upbringing from the past years in my homeland Iraq, which includes very political and historical references that shaped my life. I try to create a connection between the viewer and the subject matter, through my work by putting them in a direct confrontation with the elements of the painting undisguised. Exposed and clear, organic and changeable sometimes perishable like any living being”.

Text by Lien Crap 

In collaboration with Gallery Geukens & De Vil 


Send me more information on MOATAZ ALQAISSY

Please fill in the fields marked with an asterisk
Receive newsletters *

* denotes required fields

In order to respond to your enquiry, we will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy (available on request). You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in our emails.