The artist Ben Marzouk currently living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is one of the featured international artists at the Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), which is to take place between September 13th to November 17th of this year.
Originally from Mahares, a city along the coast of Tunisia, Marzouk graduated as an engineer from the State Technical School and the School of Fine Arts in Brussels. His art went through various schools of techniques and influences but has always been colorful combined with a figurative tone. He moved to Brazil a few years ago where he discovered his own style of abstract expressionism. The vibrant colors of the Mediterranean are reflected in his work and he became known for his figurative abstract style. Today, ethereal and magical figures transgress his works.
Marzouk admits that his main source of inspiration comes from his homeland Tunisia where he spent his youth. For him, it is important to translate into art the sentiments he has for his native country. With the political transformation that recently took place in Tunisia, he has perceived an upheaval in his art moving towards the political and the desire for greater freedom of expression. With this goal of greater freedom of expression felt in the land and people of Tunisia, his paintings have become more representative of the current situation in that he opposes, as in a game of “chess,” the two major powers who are currently fighting to gain power.
To create this effect, he uses fragmentation in his works, combining the feeling of freedom of movement as well as the figures of birds which express the sentiment of change. Marzouk’s process is a long process of creation. After a long period of time of spent in contemplation and of gathering information, he then turns to sketching and finally to canvas.
Marzouk’s art has been exhibited in several galleries around the world from São Paulo to Belgium, France and Tunisia. Before he comes to the Istanbul in the Autumn, his next exhibition before the 12th Istanbul Biennale will be in New York City. Istanbul is currently in preparation for the Istanbul Biennale 2011 contemporary art exhibition.