A fine story teller

A fine story teller
Highlights

Walk into Kalakriti Art Gallery, Banjara Hills and you will be greeted by artist Yassine Balbzioui’s solo exhibition ‘Utopia’. The exhibition displays 15 paintings, documents and video art. The watercolours and oil paintings have been made during the artist’s one month Artist Residency Programme at Kalakriti.

Walk into Kalakriti Art Gallery, Banjara Hills and you will be greeted by artist Yassine Balbzioui’s solo exhibition ‘Utopia’. The exhibition displays 15 paintings, documents and video art. The watercolours and oil paintings have been made during the artist’s one month Artist Residency Programme at Kalakriti.


What is the common thread in all the paintings, one may wonder. Masks are one of the important characteristics in Yassine’s paintings. Masks of butterflies, chameleon, fish, frogs, et al, play an important role in the Moroccan native’s work. Demystifying the mystery behind masks, 42-year-old Yassine says, “We all wear masks. The extent to which we overlay ourselves varies greatly.

‘Karataka and damanaka’

The masks we wear are fine-tuned and adorned on ourselves on how we like the world to see us.” Another favourite of the artist at the solo exhibition is ‘Good students go to heaven’, where there are six boys, wearing school uniforms holding school bags. “Though this canvas looks like a scene from a movie, here I talk about the education scenario in the future. Not much thought is being put into education.


Today’s education is more like fast food, it has to be more diversified,” the artist says. His series of watercolours are based on the famous Arabic tale Kalila Wa Dimna, which are similar to Panchatantra tales where animals are protagonists. All of us agree that art must reach out to the common man. Yassine did it when he took his artworks to Dakar, Senegal, in 2012, for a performance titled ‘Le Voyage De Twin Freaks’.

‘Good students go to heaven’

His artwork was taken around the city on to the pavements, market places and finally the beach, where the students playing football were asked to hit the ball at it. “This was a memorable experience on how art goes outside and I would like to take it to other cities too as after finishing the art work, the artist gets detached from it,” exclaims Yassine.


Yassine’s works are reactions and reflections of his immediate surroundings. The artist is a good visual story teller and each of his paintings has a story in it. The artist stitches different time and space in his paintings.Before signing off, Yassine says that he will come back soon with painting and drawing or movies or music, leaving us guessing.

By:Lakshmi Ramakrishna

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