Rachid Ben Ali

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Rachid Ben Ali (b. 1978, Taza, Morocco) is a controversial Dutch painter of Moroccan descent.

Biography and work

At the age of 15 he was sent by his parents to Holland,He is an autodidact. Later he attended the Polytechnic of the Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. He lives and works in Amsterdam and London. In 2001 and 2003 he had expositions in the Tanya Rumpff Gallery in Haarlem, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and at the Wereldmuseum of Rotterdam. Queen Beatrix chose one of his paintings to introduce an exposition in the Stedelijk Museum.

His work triggered anger and threats from Islamic militants in the Netherlands. In 2003 he won the KDR KunstRAI prijs award, and in 2005 40 of his most recent paintings were shown at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen, near Amsterdam.

He went into hiding after death threats related to an exhibit showing "hate-imams" spitting bombs. Since then, he requires bodyguards, the cost of which are paid for by the Cobra Museum.

According to Museum's curator John Frieze, Ben Ali's gory, violent and homo-erotic canvases form a "visual narrative that illustrate personal concerns about the war, cultural and migratory displacement, homosexuality, religious intolerance and discrimination".

External links

  • , (Dutch)
  • , (Dutch)
  • , (Dutch)
  • , 20 February 2005, El PaĆ­s (Spanish)

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