RALHI – AOUAM ABDELARRAZZAK (1956, MOROCCO)
Aouam Abdelarrazzak, nicknamed Ralhi (“Big Father”), was born in Khoribga, a mining town south of Casablanca. First he worked as a mechanic on trucks in a printing company, but the closing of the plant, the failure of his marriage and his imprisonment for manslaughter plunged him into deep distress leading to drug addiction. With the help of his older sister he managed to get clean and seems to have found his balance through drawing. However, for him it is only a hobby and he attaches little value to his work that he gives to his nephews or throws away. A French friend saved his drawings from destruction: his work has begun to circulate and draw the attention of the collectors.
Ralhi works mainly in blue or black ballpoint pen. He creates strange characters whose bodies are sometimes prostrate, other times monstrous. These spooky and disembodied creatures wander through landscapes filled with shadows and dark shapes. The background, formed by rocky folds and heart creases, reminding lost souls and strange entities. This unusual and innovative work is a significant discovery that gives Morocco another raw creator, after Chaïbia.
Photos: Untitled, u.d.