From October 5-November 2, 2019, Marrakech’s David Bloch Gallery will present the colorful artwork of Vincent Abadie Hafez. For his fifth appearance at the Moroccan Bloch gallery- the first dated back to 2010- he will showcase his proto-alphabets, aesthetic blending of Oriental and Western calligraphy, fragments of letters, and the paradox-filled chaos he feels represents the modern world. He will do this on canvases, papers, and sculptures. His works are an intersection of street art and lyrical abstraction. It also shows a timeless language that can be understood by all.
Hafez describes himself as “an architect of a modern city invaded by a binary stream, pierced by waves and algorithms.” The October 2019 exhibition entitled “Hors-Sol” is not the first time Hafez has communicated his sentiments that society’s obsessions with a futuristic and inauthentic techno world are pulling them further and further away from the essence of truth and nature. The exhibit will pose the question: where are we going so fast? It questions our decisions, paths, and is an “ echo of the last exhibition (Urban Jealousy in 2017).”
Vincent Abadie Hafez is a French contemporary artist who also identifies by the name Zepha. His graffiti roots eventually led him to play with Arabic and Latin characters. He is recognized for having created his own unique calligraphy and his work brings together letters and symbols that he mixes into an expressive and dynamic world.
“My encounter with calligrapher and artist Abdellatif Moustad in 1998 profoundly influenced my work. It led me to an approach centered on the calligraphic gesture and the composition of the letters, as well as on the relationship between matter and support…Through the Arabic calligraphy and its different styles that appear for me as a codex to decipher, I started a deep work of deconstruction of the Latin letters in 2000… creating futuristic hybrid alphabets with flat brushes on vertical surfaces with urgency and precision in the gesture.”
Hafez’s early art was influenced by prehistoric rock representations and the graffiti movement dating back to the 80s. His work is inspired by Hassan Massoudy, Rashid Koraїchi, and Nja Mahdaoui. These artists are pioneers of contemporary calligraphic with Islamic roots. From the Europeans, the French abstract painter, Georges Mathieu; visual artist Mary Joan Jay DeFeo; and Gérard Titus-Carmel also made a strong impression. Hafez’s work also reflects the writing and the art of ancient civilizations.
“My artistic production is at the crossroads of the first written representations and a “modern” graphic language. It is always… in search of the right balance between the instinctive gesture and the thoughtful composition. A range of techniques and mediums ranging from graffiti to volume, through calligraphy and engraving, allows me to highlight questions such as the link that unites humanity as to its origins in a common movement. I put forward work on the trace, the footprint (in the moral/physical sense) which brings a questioning on the action of the Man and its repercussions. (An approach in which)…nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed.”
The David Bloch Gallery is located in Gueliz, the French Quarter of Marrakech. Since 2010, it has served as a space dedicated to contemporary art and promotes the work of local and international contemporary artists.