Garish paintings of wide open mouths and extracted teeth adorn the walls of a building in Mogadishu, alerting passersby to the presence of a dental clinic. This is just one of more than 100 shopfronts across Mogadishu painted by Somalian mural artist Muawiye Hussein Sidow, better known as "Shik Shik".

Mogadishu somalia shops murals shik
Somali dentist Hassan Ali, 35, sits inside his dental clinic in the Hamarweyne district of Mogadishu, decorated with murals by Shik Shik Feisal Omar/Reuters

Store-front murals are a common form of advertising in Mogadishu, allowing people to see what is on offer inside shops that don't have large display windows. Sidow's work has a hand-drawn simplicity, a contrast to the airbrushed artworks of big business. His murals usually involve bright, eye-catching colours. Some pieces stretch over several metres.

Sidow's father was a commercial artist, who passed his knowledge and skills on to his son. Now 31, Sidow took over his father's business in 1998 and his painting supports not only his own family, but helps sustain his dad as well as many others.

Mogadishu somalia shops murals shik
The Shik Shik Arts studio, in the Hamarweyne district of Mogadishu, has a mural depicting lions Feisal Omar/Reuters

He told Reuters he has become an art teacher, and has passed along his skills to others who have gone on to make a living in the same industry. Sidow said he never duplicated murals and that inspiration came from Somali daily life. Aside from feeding his family and brightening up the urban landscape, he has further artistic ambitions: "God willing, I hope I will also make pictures in the neighbouring countries," he told Reuters.