Musk and Amber


"Ifriqiyettes" at the "Musk and Amber" Gallery


by "Alia Derouiche Cherif"


Exhibition date: September 28th, 2018


The exhibition "Ifriqiyettes" by Alia Derouiche Cherif


They are called Zanoukha, Mahbouba, Beya, Arbia, Bakhta, Kmar, Atka, Tofaha,...

They are all there in front of us, princesses of the suburbs, the countryside, princesses without title but with names so singing.


They emerge from our imagination, from distant postcards where the vision of the East was through odalisques with dark eyes that met the demand of a West in full Orientalist wave.


But these women were real in Morocco, Tunisia or Algeria, women of the people, simple, sometimes on the fringe, but real with their heavy jewelry and their Berber tattoos.


To give them their place, Alia Derouiche Cherif gives them a second life by magnifying them.
Around more than forty portraits, taken from the photographs of Geiser, Boumendil, Besancenot, Neurdein, or Lehnert and Landrock, she revisits the image offered.


These images, which for the most part are part of a photographic heritage, seem familiar to us, but when the gaze stops and focuses on the details, the viewer is carried away by the richness of the motifs and the mastery of the cameos of color.

A graduate of the School of Fine Arts, teaching fashion design, Alia Derouiche Cherif has always drawn alternating techniques (felt pen, ink, watercolor) transforming mandalas into sensual bodies, always putting forward a frontality of the motif and a richness in the arabesques.


Here each original image has been printed on canson paper, a kind of blank canvas on which the artist has brought all his art to bear, bringing out the fold of a drape, the richness of a jewel, playing with time, adding a tattoo referring to current trends, but above all highlighting the body, the curves, the strength of these faces, sublimated by the gold leaves.


And so Zanoukha, Mahbouba, Beya, Arbia, Bakhta, Kmar, Atka, Tofaha,... become timeless icons.