Farid Belkahia

One of post-colonial Morocco’s most distinguished modern artists, Farid Belkahia was a deeply contemplative artist who worked primarily in the mediums of painting, metalwork and leather, which he treated using traditional techniques and natural dyes, such as henna. A student of the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Belkahia became the director of Casablanca’s École supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1962. The fact that this was after Morocco’s drive for independence was successful in 1956 is vital. Although he was influenced by the minimalist and modernist aesthetics from the West, he was a key player in incorporating vibrant symbols from Moroccan heritage into his work. In the 1960s, he began working with copper to create bas-reliefs and the symbols in his work were inspired by tattoos and letter shapes from Morocco’s indigenous Amazigh culture and architecture.