Sidi el Karchi

He was born in Sittard, 1975. Is of Moroccan descent, but has always lived in the Netherlands. Only in a few paintigs does he reveal anything of his culture of origin. His way of painting or drawing does owe a good deal to a tradition based on line and decoration. But there is not the complex visual abstraction we find in North African Islamic act, or a ban on depictions of the human form – on the contrary, the emphasis is on portraits, of loved ones, of himself or occasionally of idols such as Michael Jackson. The starting points are line and outline, recalling the methods found in the age of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, or those used and perfected by the Art and Crafts school. Yet such references are never obtrusive – this is not Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Gustav Klimt or Aubrey Beardsley. The only similarity is in El Karchi’s method.

If we thus follow his work from 2000-2001 onwards, we can see him increasingly able to break free from the photographed image, which behaves like a smudged negative in comparaison with the positive that will eventually appear in a mainly graphic form.

2014 Like a Silent Poet, Galeria Freijo, Madrid, Spain.

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