'Asim Abu Shaqra: The Artist's Eye and the Cactus Tree
While focusing on the work of a Palestinian artist whose central image was the cactus, this essay traces the cactus theme in Palestinian and Jewish settler art. In so doing, it sheds light on the two peoples' differing world views, on the history of modern Palestinian painting and its links to the iconic tradition, and, more generally, on the nature of the settler enterprise and Palestinian dispossession and exile.
Kamal Boullata, an artist whose works are held in numerous public collections, including those of the Arab World Institute in Paris, the World Bank, The New York Public library, and the British Museum, has written widely on art. This article is extracted from a longer study to appear in a forthcoming commemorative volume dedicated to the life and works of the Palestinian painter 'Asim Abu Shaqra.