Abdul Mati Klarwein was born in Hamburg on the 9th of April 1932, to a Jewish architect father from Polish origins, and a German opera singer mother. The three of them fled to Palestine when he was two years old after the rise of Nazi Germany.
In 1948, Mati and his mother moved to Paris where he enrolled at the Académie Julian having previously dropped out of school in Israel and been sent at the age of 15 to an Art college in Jerusalem. He later studied with painter Fernand Léger, who introduced him to the art of Salvador Dalí, Buñuel, and the world of surrealism.
By the time he moved to New York in 1965 his work was considered to be inspired by surrealism and the so-called psychedelic movement of the time. However, it was more his extensive traveling and wide interests of non-Western deities and symbolism that inspired his art more than the use of psychedelic drugs. His friend Timothy Leary once stated, that judging the character of his paintings, “Mati didn’t need psychedelics!” Later in his life, he befriended Dalí, Viennese fantastic realist painter Ernst Fuchs, and was good friends with the poet Robert Graves and Jimmy Hendrix.
Still best known for his art of the 1960s and 1970s, (featured in a vast collection of important album covers). Mati also worked more conventionally across a variety of genres including still life, landscape, and commissioned portraits.
Mati passed away on the 7th of March of 2002 in his home in Majorca. SOURCE
“I am only half German and only half Jewish with an Arab soul and a African heart”
~ Abdul Mati Klarwein