Zineb El-Kouhen

Zineb El-Kohen, is a captivating young Moroccan painter. She is the type of person you can spend hours talking to, a glass of wine in hand, passionately discussing life, until morning hits you by surprise. She is clever and witty, deep and insightful - and has a perspective on things that makes you want to hear everything she has to say. The fact that she is a 33 years old artist with a visual disability, makes what she has to say about the way she sees things all the more compelling.

"I think it's time to consider Moroccan art outside of the Orientalist gaze. Before it was nude women with tons of traditional jewelry under multicolored drapery and now it's all the traditional design. That has definitely a place and needs to exist to show Morocco's exceptional traditional craftsmanship and long tradition of beautiful creation. But I'm not sure I am part of that. I am a Moroccan artist from the Morocco of today, a hybrid, collage-like cultural identity neither entirely grounded here nor completely detached from there.

Zineb's paintings are not only the expression of her passion, they are also a constant statement against given conditions. However, as Zineb’s visual condition progresses, her art will remain an inspiration to all those fortunate enough to view it, and, through it, develop a deeper appreciation for the essential beauty Zineb has found in this world, and the distinctive way in which she depicts it.

Read Zineb El Kohen's Interview