GAFRA. Works and price list

Circle of Fate (2018)

Mixed media and collage on canvas

Dim: 150x130cm

Price: £6400

Circle of Fate refers to the earth as the place of Dante’s inferno but also the wheel of fortune, the carousel of life with its wide and spectacular inequalities, and also the roulette of life in which migrants risk all in the hope of giving their families the chance of a normal life. The stakes are high and the risks even higher, only despair would lead one to leave one’s own home. What happens if you fall off?

 

Cosmic Hopscotch (2018)

Mixed media and collage on canvas

Dim: 150x130cm

Price: £6400

Hopscotch was a popular game in the school I was going to as a young child.  Hastily drawn on the ground with chalk, it opened all sorts of magical realms and fantasy universes ruled by the unconscious.  To me as an artist, the game came to represent the unhindered ability we have to dream and how our dreams are part of who we become and how we evolve. In that respect, the hopscotch is a metaphorical yardstick of our ever-changing identity.

 

Veiled Dreams (2016)

Mixed media and collage on canvas

Dim: 100x130cm

Price:  $5200

This work is a reflection on the contradictions inherent in migration. We inhabit spaces and places of belonging, for protection and security. But borders and walls, the manifestations of fear, suspicion and intolerance, define these spaces. How do we develop compassion and empathy for others, enough to let them into our world and share our safety?

 

Idyllia Rising (2016)

Mixed media and collage on canvas

Dim: 100x120cm

Price:  £5000

Conflict-torn and threatened by constant upheaval, the land still sits under a silver and dust-chequered sky. The reprieve is temporary, night brought peace under the stars; day will reignite an age-old conflict that colonialist greed started. The world has become polarised, and antagonistic, pitting cultures, religions, political systems and people against each other

 

 

Arch of Palmyra (2017)

Mixed media and collage on canvas

Dim: 100x120cm

Price:  £5000

The Roman Empire is referred to as a European empire stretching across both sides of the Mediterranean – Roman ruins in North Africa are evidence of its “lost”, or momentarily forgotten European past. The Arch of Palmyra has come to represent tolerance and inclusion, as well as resilience in the face of loss. Yet it is an interesting paradox that the replica now stands in New York, while the original lies in the dust of the desert. The painting reflects on the juxtaposition of cultures and how ‘the culture clash’ and ‘the melting pot’, offer far more potential for a tolerant and inclusive society.

 

Exodust (2009)

Mixed media on canvas

Dim: 120x80cm

Price:  £4500

West, East, civilisations and religions colliding against each other are evoked by DNA strands unravelling and rearranging themselves. But some kind of mating dance announces the primal hybridisation that ensures the perpetuation of life and evolutions of ‘civilisation’. More directly, Exodust refers to the multilayers of civilisation and colonisation in Africa and the role of religion. The Berber symbols refer to the dust of origins and the universal sublimation one reaches through death.

 

 

 

Procession (2018)

Mixed media and collage on canvas

Dim: 65x54cm

Price: £3000

As a young adult, I spent two years in South Africa. I was living in a town called Alice in the Karoo. Officially under the rule of the Apartheid, I had first hand experience of a society based on discrimination, repression and deprivation of civil and political rights for the majority of the population. This experience fuelled in me a strong and lasting notion of the politically, socially ethically and humanly acceptable.

 

 

Crossing of the Mediterranean (2018)

Mixed media and collage on canvas

Dim:  91x130cm

Price:  £5200

The Mediterranean shores are nexus of civilisations that have traditionally cross-fertilised and influenced each other.  Colonial empires are now gone but their toxic legacy remains and influences the way “the Other’ is perceived.  Migrants are now the unwanted invaders. Born in North Africa, I moved to France as a kid but the umbilical cord that links me to my continent of birth was never severed. As such and somewhat paradoxically, I am part of an African diaspora that struggles to finds its place in Europe.

 

 

 

Death of the Fisherman (2018)

Work on paper

Dim Frame:  52.5x73cm

Dim drawing:  50x40cm

Price:  £2500

One automatically thinks of photography as the media of choice for the rendition of human suffering.  But however harrowing photography can be, the dead, the wounded, the deported, the suffering remains viewed from a distance, almost in a voyeuristic way.  The painting, or drawing of the same atrocities, of the body modified, martyred, humiliated and annihilated, doesn’t “show” reality but traces the unfolding of a physical and emotional process in a somehow more primal and powerful way.

 

 

 

The Fishermen 2 (2018)

Work on paper

Dim Frame:  52.5x73cm

Dim drawing:  50x40cm

Price:  £2500

The parable of the fisherman in its religious connotation is here to remind us that what unites us is stronger that what separates us.  Regardless of the colour of our skin, our political affiliations, or religion, we are all driven by the same instincts and the same needs.  The Fisherman is an exhortation to overcome our differences and seek a more harmonious way of coexisting.

 

 

 

 

 

The Fishermen  (2018)

Work on paper

Dim Frame:  52.5x73cm

Dim drawing:  50x40cm

Price:  £2500

The parable of the fisherman in its religious connotation is here to remind us that what unites us is stronger that what separates us.  Regardless of the colour of our skin, our political affiliations, or religion, we are all driven by the same instincts and the same needs.  The Fisherman is an exhortation to overcome our differences and seek a more harmonious way of coexisting.

 

The Mourning (2018)

Work on paper

Dim Frame:  52.5x73cm

Dim drawing:  50x40cm

Price:  £2500

This work is intentionally ambiguous.  One could see the mass of the “Dark Continent” in the background as a dynamic composition of people expressing, through their attitudes and postures, conflicting emotions, pain, sorrow, and grief, but also rejoicing, and celebration.  A strange narrative of excitement and exploitation seems to permeate the work.

 

Under the Radar (2018)

Work on paper

Dim Frame:  52.5x73cm

Dim drawing:  50x40cm

Price:  £2500

 

This works refers to the harrowing cost of most diasporas. Migrations are not taken lightly and involve huge suffering y those who decide or are forced to leave their countries.

 

 

Entre Ciel et Terre (2018)

(Between Heaven and Earth)

Mixed media and collage on canvas

Dim: 13ox150cm

Price: £6400

Hopscotch was a popular game in the school I was going to as a young child.  Hastily drawn on the ground with chalk, it opened all sorts of magical realms and fantasy universes ruled by the unconscious.  In this painting, the amorphous hopscotch is encased, contained in the subconscious realm, as a way of expressing the unacknowledged guilt of the West to the past evils of colonialism based on inequality and exploitation.

 

Los Desdichados (2018)

(The Wretched)

Mixed media and collage on canvas

Dim:  91x73cm

Price:  £3000

Frantz Fanon was a hero of the Algerian war of liberation. He defended the rights of the colonised people to use violence as a means of gaining independence and his writings spread far beyond North Africa to be embraced by freedom fighters throughout the world, including South America.  Los Desdichadosreflects on liberation and the price that often has to be paid to obtain it.

 

 

 

I was born in Oran (2018)

Mixed media and collage on canvas

Dim:  120x80cm

Price:  £4500

I was born in Oran, “On a happy shore and under the light of the first morning of the world” (Albert Camus, Le Premier Homme),an exuberant, yet secretive city rich of multiple intertwined cultures. It has shaped me in very deep ways and ultimately allowed me to empathise with the causes, consequences and psychological impact of migration.

 

 

On the 6th Day (2018)

Mixed media and collage on canvas

Dim:  120x80cm

Price:  £4500

Racism, xenophobia and segregation are as awful as they are anachronistic, yet they do not seem to abate.  On the 6thDayrefers to Genesis and the creation of all living things.  It is a way for me to emphasise that we are not different, but all equal. We are also equal to the animals with which we share a planet. In this respect, On the 6ThDayseeks to be an ode to humanity as part of a greater whole.

 

La Mission Civilisatrice (2015)

The Civilizing Mission

Mixed media on canvas

Dim:  150x130cm

Price:  £6400

 

This painting reflects on the notion of representation and now it affects the telling of history, with an inevitable influence over our identities (mine to begin with). I have no interest in a nostalgic past with its redolence of the golden age of Arcadia. Instead I want to appraise the multilayered reality of the French presence in Algeria. The monstrous shape hovering over the corpse of the native/colonised body is vampiristically connected to its prey. It is a violent, yet arresting rendition of the civilizing mission in the French colonies of Africa.

 

Below the line (2016)

Mixed media on canvas

Dim: 91x73cm

Price:  £3000