Arts in Marrakech

Marrakech is a picturesque city. Even amateur photographers like myself can generate pictures of a somewhat dreamlike quality- the sort of image you would expect to find in one of those big format, glossy paged coffee books.

The light is always perfect; alleyways play with the sun's rays to cast artistic shadows; colors jump out of nowhere. A photographer's dream.

But it takes a different kind of medium, and a real sense of image and representation to capture Marrakshi beauties in the stroke of a brush. To paint the colors, the lights, the simplicity and complexities of this great city- and to do so with emotion. Jon and I found an artist who does just this....

Scanning the streets of the medina, looking down dark passages, peeking into dusty storefronts, we searched the lands for an art gallery- a cove of treasures for the eye. As we walked from Place Jemma el Fna to Bab Doukkala, we stumbled upon the marvel we longed for- an Ali Baba-like cave of watercolors,oils, etchings and the occasional lithograph.
We sifted through
mountains of framed and unframed art; dust gathering between the canvases- a real treasure hunt!

We rummaged through stacks of paintings- systematically contemplating works by the same artist: a man whose sense of shape, color and form so accurately reflected our own experiences in the medina- a medley of people, impressions, shapes and smells; a feast for the eyes- sometimes a little overwhelming.

The gallery owner noticed our repeated pauses before this man's art; in a timid, not so sure of his French voice, he stuttered a short biography- "an odd man, I tell you; never really know where he is or what he is up to. He teaches at the art school here; sometimes his students come to my gallery to ask about his whereabouts. He found his wife in my gallery you know, she used to work here."

The biography suited us: "a good story to share"! We both laughed and wondered. So we bought a few paintings to remember; to bring home someone else's vision of Marrakech