I've been painting in the streets for 12 years. In 2015, during a residency in Barcelona, I started using the traditional Azulejos ceramic design that we often see in Spain, Portugal, and Maghreb in my work. I started including these colored patterns in my murals, and it became my trademark as a street artist. This led me to great interest and study of traditional crafts of different cultures around the world and their symbols. I searched for a way to link traditional arts and crafts to my paintings and urban art.
Carpets are one of the most ancient, visually rich, and meaningful traditional arts that can be found. They are traditionally weaved by women, which is why I chose to represent women's portraits on them.
I kept the idea of painting on a carpet in mind for a year before jumping into it. Thinking about whether it’s possible or not, how to do it, which materials I could use… Then, I finally tried to apply my street art techniques to the carpet as if it was a wall. I painted with spray paint, and it worked perfectly! The face merged into the traditional pattern of the carpet as I used transparency and shading techniques.
Carpets, as well as human portraits, are composed symmetrically. I try to find the magical symmetry between the two elements. I see something truly beautiful in the center medallion of the carpet which often gets positioned in the place of the third eye of the face.
I consider myself a spiritual person; I meditate and perform a ritual before each piece before entering a flow state of painting. I am not entitled to mistakes as I'm painting directly on a valuable rug—each line and movement has to be perfect.
It results in a great mix of contemporary urban arts with ancient traditional craft and culture. I love this duality: by adding a human element to a traditional carpet, these works touch our deep being, our universal consciousness, they question our cultural identity which is currently cannibalized by standardization and mass culture.