Zakaria Ramhani was born in the Moroccan city of Tangiers in 1983 into a family of artists where his father was well known for tackling classical issues about his country.
This large painting displays a sadly famous symbol from the Egyptian revolution, widely distributed by the media: the picture of a young woman beaten to the ground by security forces dressed in riot gear, who stripped her and kicked her repeatedly. But the artist twists the really famous picture by adding incongruous elements to the scene: gorillas, who metaphorically stand for animal-like brutality, Van Gogh’s self-portrait, Warhol ghostly face, branches of a tree, growing in between the characters…
The depicted scene is extremely violent, and has a strong sexual dimension: the physical brutality and the stripping of the girl assimilate the aggression to a rape, the woman being the victim of masculine violence. The triangle composition is striking, as is the contrast between the foreground and the whitish background.
About his work, Zakaria Ramhani said in an interview: “My artworks are based on two levels: first, divide the picture to letters and words and second, focus on the painting itself.”
The artist says the Internet contributes to the techniques employed in his paintings. His unique style involves massive blending of letters to the extent they morph into spacious colors, lights and shadows. He said, “I have a great interest in the images on the net and other media networks which shed light on the Arab World.”
When asked about the message of his paintings, Zakaria said there is no specific meaning and the important thing is to reproduce pictures of interest for the Arab street.