Casablanca’s d’art L’Atelier 21 will showcase an exhibit by self-taught Moroccan artist Mo Baala through March 16, 2020. The exhibit, “Beginnings,” presents colorful paintings and installations that integrate a wide range of musical performances, street art, and action paintings that have been mesmerizing his audiences. Baala’s works incorporate multi-media materials such as textiles, recycling, lyrics, and music. According to his fan, it is the story behind the artist’s work that best captivates their attention.
The Casablanca born artist’s journey was unique. He was never formally trained and instead utilized his strong sensibility to study his environment and community to create his pieces.
At the age of five, Baala’s family moved to Taroudant, a city located in the Sous Massa Dra region of Morocco, just east of Agadir. Taradount is often referred to as the “Grandmother of Marrakech.” The town’s colorful for Berber market, Jnane al-Jaami, that sells spices and dried fruits along with colorful clothes and household goods influenced Baala. His artwork is reflective of his environment and in particular his sculptures since there is an abundance of limestone in Taroudant.
Baala’s childhood was filled with the traditional Moroccan sounds of Gnawa music, the exotic smell of the spice souk and local textiles. According to Baala “the most important thing you can learn in art is to observe and value your entourage. All these components teach you art and how to create art.”