• 29 Nov 2017

Moroccan Street Artist Tarek Benaoum completed in November 2017, his biggest mural in France at the Institut des Cultures d’Islam in Paris. Art-Trope saw his previous performance as part of La Nuit Blanche 2017.

This picture taken by Thea Yazli represents Street Artist's Tarek Banoum's monumental mural at the Institut des Cultures d'Islam in Paris.

Tarek Benaoum, Institut des Cultures d’Islam © Thea Yazli

Tarek Benaoum : both Street Artist and Calligrapher

Born in Salé, Marocco, Tarek Benaoum was captivated by the 90s graffiti trend when he was 14 years-old. It is the need of freedom, a spray-paint can in one hand, pushed him to dedicate himself to this type of Art he was never going to give away. Concurrently to his Street-Art aspirations, he also grew an interest for calligraphy. In fact, it is a continuation of his passion for writing. To this end, he studied at the Scriptorium in Toulouse for 4 years. This is how he diversified his ways of expression. He did several internships in Latin calligraphy for distinguished professors such as Kitty Sabatier and Véronique Sabard. He paints words. Public places, murals, hotels, restaurants and clubs are his favorite places to express himself. The words he uses are the ones that belong to our daily vocabulary: love, violence, happiness, life, music etc. As a result, Tarek Benaoum’s Artworks are on the thin border of each word’s meaning for a refreshing anticonformism. His Art emphasizes the dilution of time in space through the interplay of letters.

A monumental mural at the core of Parisian neighborhood Goutte d’Or

In the course of November 2017, Tarek Benaoum completed his biggest mural in France. It is in the Parisian neighborhood Goutte d’Or, in the patio of the Institut des Cultures d’Islam, that we can admire this 3200 sq ft Artwork. Its production was insured by the team of Quai 36. The mural is entitled: “The Last Sentence, Hommage to Hélène Cixous“. Hélène Cixous is a symbol in the neighborhood of la Goutte d’Or. Renowned French writer born in Algeria from Jews parents, she embodies a type of France that is cosmopolitan. Therefore, the Street-Artist’s Artwork uses 4 lines extracted from her book entitled Limonade tout était infini which deals with the writing’s delicateness. Text comes before form. The selection is therefore essential and has to resonate with the place. Tarek Benaoum spontaneously puts together multiple styles: Gothic, Latin, Oriental, Alien. On the mural, you have to read from bottom to top starting from the section on the left. Then comes the one on the right. Finally, the circles come. The goal is to “Arabize Latin calligraphy”.

This picture taken by Thea Yazli represents Street Artist's Tarek Banoum's monumental mural at the Institut des Cultures d'Islam in Paris, produced by Qui 36.

La dernière phrase hommage à Hélène Cixous (The Last Sentence, hommage to Hélène Cixous), Tarek Benaoum, Quai 36, Institut des Cultures d’Islam © Thea Yazli

Tarek Beanoum and the exhibition “Lettres Ouvertes, de la Calligraphie au Street-Art”

This mural was created as part of the seasonal exhibition “Lettres Ouvertes, de la Calligraphie au Street-Art” (“Open Letters, from Calligraphy to Street-Art”) which continues until January 21st 2018 at the Institut des Cultures d’Islam. Extracts from famous authors from Maghreb and the Middle East are decorated with calligraphy in different styles inspired from African, Berber, Native American, or Latin. This project was completed as part of the initiative “Artworks takes on the streets” voted by the Parisians on the occasion of the participative budget of the city of Paris. The production of the mural was delegated to Quai 36. The Institut des Cultures d’Islam is a cultural institution of the city of Paris. Anchored in the district of Goutte d’Or and opened to the world, it is all together a contemporary Art center, a music stage, a place for dialogue and learning.

Read our article about Art-Trope Artist and photographer Guillaume Dimanche here.

Sources: Tarek Benaoum, Télérama, Centre des Cultures d’Islam