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Born in Algeria in 1946, Mahjoub Ben Bella studied at the Fine Arts School of Oran before joining the Academy of Arts in Tourcoing in Northern France, where he currently lives and works. He received master’s degrees at both the National School of Applied Arts and the National Fine Arts Academy of Paris. His unique visual language is composed of motifs, shapes and colors that emerge out of his treatment of traditional Arabic calligraphy in the European painting tradition. In addition to major international commissions ranging from a 1982 mural in Riyadh airport and a 12 km painted course for the 1986 Paris-Roubaix international bicycle race to a portrait of Nelson Mandela at the Wembley stadium in the UK in 1988 and ceramic tiles in the metro station in Tourcoing in 2000, Ben Bella’s work has been widely exhibited around the world and acquired by prestigious collections and museums.