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Zakaria Ramhani (Moroccan, b. 1983)
Al Hallaj
signed 'Ramhani' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
94½ x 78¾in. (240 x 200cm.)
Painted in 2012

Lot Essay

'The face is the soul's mirror. It is through its expressions that the being's emotions are translated. Words lead the way to truth, that was what the divine chose in order to unveil itself to us. It seemed natural to me to combine them in order to witness my desire of endless research on myself and on the truth in my paintings.

The Masters and poets such as Al Hallaj teach us that a dot in calligraphy can become a metaphor for the universe. The dot is on its own and unique yet it allows to create other elements through its multiplication. Those elements will in turn take on other shapes and hence there cannot be a finalized form. All the shapes that we consider being real and that are visible to the eye are subject to change with time.

I wanted to paint this poet's face using the letters' movement, graphic elements and numerous faces, which appear as particles forming together a unity resulting in this portrait. Here, writing is reduced to its primary function of expression. It does not spell out or mean anything because it attempts to say everything. In the freedom of automatic writing, which is close to absurdity, there is always a hidden revelation'.

(Zakaria Ramhani, 2012)

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