b. 1986, Australia

Abdul Abdullah Artworks

As a Muslim artist with Malaysian, Indonesian, and Australian heritage, Abdul Abdullah's work draws from the complexities in his own identity to address the tension between the perception of identity and the reality of lived experience.

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Entertainers

As a child, Abdullah was deeply impacted by the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, an influence that has carried over into his works today. Among the artist's recollections is the memory of a man tearing the hijab off his mother's head.

In 2015 joint exhibition with his brother Abdul-Rahman, Abdullah showed the vastly misunderstood Entertainers (2013), a portrait of a figure wearing a balaclava with eyes and mouth assembled from the features of Beyoncé, Kayne West, and Madonna.

While the collage was meant to convey the artist's experience growing up Muslim, The West Australian newspaper accused the artist of promoting terrorism.

Controversy and Censorship

Abdullah's 2017 exhibition Terms of Engagement: Examining the Rhetoric of Radicalisation at UNSW Galleries showed portraits of young Muslim people engaged in criminal activity, reflecting stereotypes popularly associated with Muslim people. Amongst them, Bride 1 (Victoria) (2015) and Groom 1 (Zofloya) (2015) depict side-by-side portraits of a woman and a man dressed in white, heads covered in balaclavas.

Equally provocative images like All let us rejoice and For we are young and free (both 2017), which depict portraits of Australian soldiers overlaid with smiley faces, were met with censure from local government members, who demanded the works be removed from the gallery.

Political Resistance

Abdullah's satirical portraits were followed by thick line drawing series like 'What's mine is yours' (2020), in which figures are strangled or held in a headlock against serene waters and orange cloudscapes.

The same year, Abdullah participated in 52 ACTIONS at Artspace in Sydney, for which he exhibited photographs of his text-based tattoos alongside short passages describing how each serve as a reminder of his political principles.

In a 2017 conversation with Ocula Magazine, the artist expresses the importance of having a 'generous' art practice with a variety of 'access points—whether they are aesthetic, conceptual, historical or political' to create different ways for audiences to enter the conversation.

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Manifest by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Manifest, 2023 Oil on linen
102 x 76 cm
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Mischief by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Mischief, 2023 Oil on linen
102 x 76 cm
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Miraculous by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Miraculous, 2023 Oil on linen
102 x 76 cm
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Milieu by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Milieu, 2023 Oil on linen
198.1 x 162 cm
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Take a moment by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Take a moment, 2023 Oil on linen
198.1 x 62 cm
On Hold
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New perspectives by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah New perspectives, 2023 Oil on linen
198.1 x 162 cm
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Quiet achiever by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Quiet achiever, 2023 Oil on linen
198.1 x 162.5 cm
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Quality time by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Quality time, 2023 Oil on linen
198.1 x 162.5 cm
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Choppy water by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Choppy water, 2023 Oil on linen
198.1 x 162 cm
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Clean air by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Clean air, 2023 Oil on linen
198.1 x 162 cm
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It's been a long time by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah It's been a long time, 2023 Oil on linen
162.5 x 137.1 cm
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An unexpected and welcome thought by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah An unexpected and welcome thought, 2023 Oil on linen
162.5 x 137 cm
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A pleasant surprise by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah A pleasant surprise, 2023 Oil on linen
102 x 76 cm
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Gleeful discovery by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Gleeful discovery, 2023 Oil on linen
102 x 76 cm
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Promising potential by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Promising potential, 2023 Oil on linen
102 x 76 cm
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Celebrating in the swell by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Celebrating in the swell, 2023 Oil on linen
198.1 x 162.5 cm
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Pausing to reflect by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Pausing to reflect, 2023 Oil on linen
198.1 x 162 cm
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Manifest by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Manifest, 2023 Oil on linen
102 x 76 cm
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Miraculous by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Miraculous, 2023 Oil on linen
102 x 76 cm
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Mischief by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Mischief, 2023 Oil on linen
102 x 76 cm
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Milieu by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Milieu, 2023 Oil on linen
198.1 x 162 cm
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Change by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Abdul Abdullah Change, 2023 Oil on linen
30.48 x 24.5 cm
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Adapt by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Abdul Abdullah Adapt, 2023 Oil on linen
30.48 x 24.5 cm
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Greetings by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Abdul Abdullah Greetings, 2023 Oil on linen
102 x 76.5 cm
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Hi, Hello by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Abdul Abdullah Hi, Hello, 2023 Oil on linen
102 x 76.5 cm
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A good idea by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Abdul Abdullah A good idea, 2022 Oil on linen
198 x 162.5 x 3 cm
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Interloper by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork print
Abdul Abdullah Interloper, 2022 Digital print framed in black with gataboard mount, black internal box spacers and acrylic glazing
100 x 153 cm
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A Return by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Abdul Abdullah A Return, 2022 Oil on linen
198.12 x 162.56 cm
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Lies we tell our therapists by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Abdul Abdullah Lies we tell our therapists, 2022 Oil on linen
198 x 163 x 3 cm
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What's mine is yours 6 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah What's mine is yours 6, 2020 Oil on linen
84.5 x 66.5 cm
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What's mine is yours 5 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah What's mine is yours 5, 2020 Oil on linen
84.5 x 66.5 cm
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What's mine is yours 4 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah What's mine is yours 4, 2020 Oil on linen
84.5 x 66.5 cm
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What's mine is yours 3 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah What's mine is yours 3, 2020 Oil on linen
84.5 x 66.5 cm
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What's mine is yours 2 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah What's mine is yours 2, 2020 Oil on linen
84.5 x 66.5 cm
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What's mine is yours 1 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah What's mine is yours 1, 2020 Oil on linen
84.5 x 66.5 cm
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The atonement by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah The atonement, 2020 Oil on linen
112.5 x 91.5 cm
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The abyss by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah The abyss, 2020 Oil on linen
112.5 x 91.5 cm
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The challenges by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah The challenges, 2020 Oil on linen
112.5 x 91.5 cm
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The threshold by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah The threshold, 2020 Oil on linen
112.5 x 91.5 cm
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The call by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah The call, 2020 Oil on linen
112.5 x 91.5 cm
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Domesticated by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Domesticated, 2020 Oil on linen
163 x 122 cm
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Tamed by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Tamed, 2020 Oil on linen
163 x 122 cm
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Cyclical Histories 1 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork photography
Abdul Abdullah Cyclical Histories 1, 2020 Archival print
120 x 90 cm
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Cyclical Histories 2 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork photography
Abdul Abdullah Cyclical Histories 2, 2020 Digital print
120 x 90 cm
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Discombobulated 4 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Discombobulated 4, 2020 Oil and aerosol on canvas
30.5 x 25 cm
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Discombobulated 3 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Discombobulated 3, 2020 Oil and aerosol on canvas
30.5 x 25 cm
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Discombobulated 2 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Discombobulated 2, 2020 Oil and aerosol on canvas
30.5 x 25 cm
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Discombobulated 1 by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Discombobulated 1, 2020 Oil and aerosol on canvas
30.5 x 25 cm
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Everything is awesome by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Everything is awesome, 2020 Oil and aerosol on board
59.5 x 42 cm
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Reach by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork mixed media, textile
Abdul Abdullah Reach, 2020 Manual embroidery made with the assistance of DGTMB studios
300 x 200 cm
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Where trouble melts like lemon drops by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork mixed media, textile, textile
Abdul Abdullah Where trouble melts like lemon drops, 2019 Manual embroidery made with the assistance of DGTMB studios
150 x 120 cm
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Where the clouds are far behind me by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork mixed media, textile, textile
Abdul Abdullah Where the clouds are far behind me, 2019 Manual embroidery made with the assistance of DGTMB studios
150 x 120 cm
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Together by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Together, 2019 Oil on linen
151 x 120 cm
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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork mixed media, textile, textile
Abdul Abdullah Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, 2019 Manual embroidery made with the assistance of DGTMB studios
150 x 120 cm
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No one is an island by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah No one is an island, 2019 Oil on linen
161 x 120 cm
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Everybody agrees on everything by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork mixed media, textile, textile
Abdul Abdullah Everybody agrees on everything, 2019 Manual embroidery with the assistance of DGTMB Studios (top); Oil on linen (bottom)
240 x 175 cm
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Contested territory by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Contested territory, 2019 Oil on linen
161 x 480 cm
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Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork mixed media, textile, textile
Abdul Abdullah Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, 2019 Manual embroidery made with the assistance of DGTMB studios
150 x 120 cm
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Boundless plains to share by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork mixed media, textile, textile
Abdul Abdullah Boundless plains to share, 2019 Manual embroidery with the assistance of DGTMB Studios
200 x 300 cm
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Superpredators by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Superpredators, 2019 Oil on linen
180 x 240 cm
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May All Your Dreams Come True by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah May All Your Dreams Come True, 2018 Oil on linen
240 x 180 cm
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Love me true by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Love me true, 2018 Oil on linen
120 x 120 cm
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Love me tender by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork painting
Abdul Abdullah Love me tender, 2018 Oil on linen
120 x 120 cm
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Mutual assurances by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork photography
Abdul Abdullah Mutual assurances, 2017 Digital print
120 x 278 cm
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Journey to the west, by Abdul Abdullah contemporary artwork photography
Abdul Abdullah Journey to the west,, 2017 digital print
120 x 208 cm
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