An Incredible Find
Every once in a while, you get lucky and stumble upon something really cool. Most recently, it was an “art gallery.” Before you start to yawn, art gallery is actually a bit of a misnomer. It’s really a giant, beautiful riad, filled to the brim with dusty, painted canvases. And by filled to the brim, I mean 3 stories (maybe 4,000 square feet) and every square inch of wall space is plastered 15-20 canvases deep. There is barely any room to move without knocking one (or ten) over.
The architecture is like nothing I’ve seen here. There’s the traditional zelij in all the expected maroons, royal blues and minty greens, but this place had frescos, pastel-painted carvings, elaborate molding and stained glass. It was Moroccan, but at the same time, otherworldly. Somehow, despite the piles of canvases, it was the architecture that caught my attention first.
But then I spotted an exciting abstract. Then another. And another. And before I knew it, I was swimming in art of all kinds. After almost 2 years here, I tend to see same artists over and over, painting the same ole’ scenes. But this was much, much more.
I left after purchasing a painting by a Moroccan artist, Khiari, who lives in Agadir. I’ve seen his work around Rabat before, but he typically paints local scenes and landscapes. This one was different. It was a still life of roses and it just caught my eye. Khiari had several flower paintings at this venue, but I’ve never seen them anywhere except here.
So here I am, basking in the glow of all that art, loving that I can actually afford it in this country. Here’s to hoping that it rubbed off on me!