Dreams Don't Follow Back ©Taher Jaoui

Genie in a Bottle

Graham Modern & Contemporary presents Taher Jaoui

Jaoui’s compositions are built on an intuitive and unconscious process, drawing on different sources of inspiration, from cartoon and graffiti-like drawings to the Abstract Expressionism and Primitivism movements.  Jaoui’s work combines painting, drawing, abstraction and representation. Through a personal language in his compositions, he aims to stimulate the viewer’s feelings and imagination and to let them build their own interpretation of the picture. The artist’s work is often composed of semi-figurative elements, such as heads, legs, eyes and hands. He combines an aggressive use of colour and texture with various combinations of oil, enamel, spray paint and charcoal on canvas. Taher Jaoui was born in Tunis, Tunisia and currently lives and works between Paris and Berlin.

Hamster in the Wheel. ©Taher JaouiHamster in the Wheel. Courtesy of the artist & Graham Modern & Contemporary.

Speaking of his creative process, the artist says, “I translate my impulse of the moment into action with a media on the surface. I work on establishing a subconscious dialogue between the composition and my instant feeling. I add traces (colours, shapes or pieces of paper) to the surface only when I feel emotionally connected to the moment.”

“My technique is based on adding elements to a composition in layers. I draw my inspiration from abstract painters, Berlin street art and the art of African tribes. I spent years painting my walls in my flat while I was in acting classes in Paris and Los Angeles. I was using painting as a tool to unlock my emotions before playing the scene.”

Secrets are Dangerous Things. ©Taher JaouiSecrets are Dangerous Things. Courtesy of the artist & Graham Modern & Contemporary.

The attention garnered by the artist’s paintings on his apartment walls ultimately inspired his decision to make this his full-time career. Jaoui’s work has already been exhibited in various group and solo exhibitions across Europe, Africa and the USA.

‘Genie in a Bottle’ could be divided into two different series of works. The first compositions combine distinguished colourful semi-figurative forms with mathematical formulas on chalkboard.

Dreams Don't Follow Back ©Taher JaouiDreams Don’t Follow Back. Courtesy of the artist & Graham Modern & Contemporary.

The second series is more abstract, based mostly on non-figurative and gestural elements and is composed mostly of oils paints and pastels. These two series were inspired by the American abstract expressionism movement, cartoons and Jaoui’s scientific background.

Graham Modern & Contemporary is set to present an exhibition titled ‘Genie in a Bottle’ by Tunisian-born expressionist artist, Taher Jaoui, which runs from 16 May to 13 June.