Born of Morocco's largest urban metropolis and its capital: artists of Casablanca and Rabat
today is a city of superlatives: Morocco's biggest city, the Kingdom's economic powerhouse, North Africa's largest port, home to Africa's largest shopping centre and also the site of some of Morocco's worst slums. Prior to the creation of the French Protectorate in Morocco (1912-1956), however, it was a modest port of a population of around 12,000. Today it is home to around 9 million people in the greater metropolitan area. A city of contrasts, Casablanca's
incredible economic growth, its social challenges and diversity, its wealth and inequities have inspired many artists. Rabat, on the other hand, is the modern administrative capital. it is a smaller, more manageable city with a strong colonial heritage. For many artists, it is practical to be based in this populous urban zone and the new MMVI Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rabat
is sure to make Rabat more of a hub for contemporary art
and artistic exchange than has previously been the case.
Lamia Naji (1966-)Genre:
photography and videoBiography:
Lami Naji sees photography as the expression of something deeply personal and intimate. She believes that this expression of human intimacy can transcend our differences and that her photographs can tell a unique story. She works between Casablanca
and Madrid and has held a long-standing residency at the Casa Velàzquez in the latter. Her 2000 video work, "I Love Cats" is a tribute to the residents of her adopted city, the Madrileños who are also known as gatos
(cats) because of their love of nightlife. This work and others have been exhibited internationally and have gained international awards and tributes.
Artist: Myriam Mourabit
Biography: Drawing ona long-standing pottery tradition in Morocco, Myriam’s work features modern clean lines with gold and silver leaf gilding. In this way, her craft brings together the skills of the designer and the artisan. She works with skilled master potters to achieve her designs and employs women to apply her delicate ornamental patterns, which are reminiscent of traditional henna tattoos and Berber symbols. Available across Morocco, Myriam's designs such as decorative candle holders, plates and trinket pots, are attracting increasing international interest. Myriam trained at the Duperré School of Applied Arts and the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris and is now based in Rabat.
Artist: Malika Squalli
Biography: Born in Morocco, Sqalli moved to France in her teens and attended the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Montpelier. She has lived in London, and now divides her time between London, Rabat, Los Angeles. Her project, “Latitude 34,” aimed to document significant aspects of the countries along the 34th parallel, on which her home city of Rabat is situated. With her photography, she seeks to show “reality” in new ways and to pose questions about the world. Malika has shown her work on four continents — in North America (Atlanta), in Europe (France, Austria and the UK), Africa (Morocco ), and East Asia (Korea). At several shows, her work has been singled out for awards or honorable mentions.
Artist: Liliane Danino (1951-)
Genre: drawing,sculpture in bronze
Biography: Danino is a self-taught painter and sculptor, working between Casablanca and Tel Aviv. She has exhibited around the world and won several prizes. Her works are held in art collections in Canada, France, Israel, Morocco, Switzerland and the USA. Like her bronze sculptures, Danino’s water-coloured figure drawings represent the human form in various shapes and postures. They are infused with an elegance reminiscent of Dègas' ballerinas. Her figurines have a fluidity and movement derived from her acute observation and her use of traditional methods.
Hassan Boukhari (1965-)Genre:
Born in Rabat
, Boukhari trained at the École Supérieur des Arts Saint-Luc in Liège, Belgium as well as with US Professors. He is well-known in Morocco and beyond for his studies of traditional customs and Moroccan ethnic heritage. He paints in a perfectionist and realistic way so that his canvasses resemble photographs - of traditional textiles, interiors and villages. His more recent work, although featuring familiar subjects, also introduces an element of the abstract, giving rise to a different reaction in the viewer and indicating a real development in his style.