French-Algerian artist Mahjoub Ben Bella passed away at age 73 on Thursday, June 11.
Born in Algeria in 1946, he studied at the Fine Arts School of Oran before joining the Academy of Arts in Tourcoing in northern France. He later received his master’s degrees at the National School of Applied Arts and the National Fine Arts Academy of Paris. Afterwards, he continued to work and live in France.
His pieces of artwork are unique in their colours and are distinctive in their use of repetitive patterns reminiscent to that of Arabic calligraphy.
Among the major works he had been commissioned were a 12-kilometre painted course for the 1986 Paris-Roubaix international bicycle race and a portrait of Nelson Mandela at Wembley Stadium in London in 1988. His work has been widely exhibited around the world.
He is survived by his wife Brigitte and his children Souhir and Nadjib.