OMAR MAHFOUDI was born in 1981, in Tangier (Morocco).
For the past 20 years he was painting, taking photos and filming the contradictions of his country and of modern world.
He started painting before he could write. This is something that came to Omar naturally and allowed him to explore his society’s images and destinies. In his art, Omar is trying to reinvent and rewrite the history of the human beings through emotions as he comes from a culture, where figurative art is forbidden. Eroticism is limited, although the sensual is very important there. He is asking questions about bodies and sexuality in everyday life through the depiction of nudity in paintings. Over the last three years, Omar have looked at the world from a political and humanistic point of view and this was the reason for less and less figurative work. Indeed, his work on emptiness has led Omar to consider much more abstract elements.
At the end of this year, the exhibition TAHJAWI by Point Ephémère allowed him to go further by offering an intimate look at Tangier. It is about reporting the reality through mixed techniques like video, drawing, photography and illustration. Omar Mahfoudi wanted to radiate with magnetic charm and poetry about the male friendship in Moroccan society. This exhibition was intended to show the melancholy, sensuality and violence, as well as the humor and absurdity.
For his last series, Omar Mahfoudi decided to choose square formats of 1m2 like Instagram image squares. Exactly this feature distinguishes his art from the traditional and it brings Omar closer to media images; images that we see on TV, Internet and social media every single day (see the series Pixel Collage by Thomas Hischhorn). This plastic effect allows a distancing and critical attitude to the discussing topic. Therefore, it is a variation of the same theme, phase 3 of his series on the contemporary world was inspired by our daily life and it questions the world, our relationship to it and others.
Residencies (selection) 2020 - Centre international des Récollets, Paris, France 2019/2021 - 59 Rivoli, Paris, France 2017 - Cité internationale des Arts, Paris, France 2017 - Montresso Foundation, Marrakech, Morocco 2013 - Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside, USA 2011 - Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, USA 2007 - Docmaroc, Cinémathéque de Tanger, Tanger, Morocco
SELECTION OF SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2021 El Dorado, AFIKARIS Gallery, Paris, France Waiting in the Oasis, AFIKARIS x AMA Gallery, Cap-Ferret, France
2019 Les Égarés, Centre d'art du château de Trousse-Barrière, Briare, France Africa Now, Retoandri Gallery, Zürich, Switzerland Botanica, Galerie Conil, Tangier, Morocco
2018 Tanjawi, Point Éphémère, Paris, France
2015 Tangier 1981, Gallery Formato Comodo , Madrid, Spain Gallery le Purgatoire, Paris, France
SELECTION OF GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2022 1-54 Marrakech, Marrakech, Morocco Artgenève, Geneva, Switzerland
2021 1-54 London, London, United Kingdom Leaving the city, AFIKARIS Gallery, Paris, France
2020 Une nouvelle génération, Abla Ababou Gallery, Rabat, Morocco
2018 NEUE > WELTEN, Gallery 52Lager, Zürich, France 2017 AKAA, Paris, France The Collective, Montresso Foundation, Marrakech, Morocco
2016 Expectativa y Memoria, Cerculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain
2015 Salon Marocain, Foundacao de Serralves, Porto, Portugal ARCO Madrid, Madrid, Spain Disorder, French Institute of Tangier, Tangier, Morocco
2014 Contemporary Morocco, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA