Skip to content
Hicham Berrada, alchemist artist

Article reserved for subscribers

Artist Hicham Berrada at the Pinault Lens Residence Collection, June 19, 2019. Tex Bishop for M The World Magazine

It is rare that an artist, once his residence is completed, remains in the area. Especially when it took place in the North, in Lens. And even if it is the residence program of the collector François Pinault. But 33-year-old Hicham Berrada has been won over by the spirit of humor. The Franco-Moroccan creator exposes up to 1st september in the Louvre, a condensed work at the crossroads of art and science.

And is happy to finally have his home in Tourcoing. Let's bet that the former resident of Villa Medici will know how to give him the same colors as Jacques Demy in Rochefort. Because Hicham the alchemist knows how to convert lead into gold, transform ordinary chain reactions into moments of grace, acting on matter without ever touching it.

 € œI didnâ € ™ t want to do an art â € œarabeâ €, to deal with politics. Hicham Berrada

By family atavism, the nice boy should have chosen the scientific way, traced in Casablanca by his pharmacist father and his mother biology teacher. Hicham Berrada will prefer that of art, direction the Beaux-Arts of Paris, then Le Fresnoy, in Tourcoing. By taking care to avoid another denial – the question of identity – which can quickly lock up an artist.  € œI didnâ € ™ t want to do an art â € œarabeâ €, to deal with politics, He says. I saw students of Fine Arts talk about space, the cosmos. I told myself that I too was entitled to it. AT" Itâ € ™ s decided, science will be his brush. Because his goal, he says, remains  " pictorial".

Hicham Berrada, alchemist artist
A work from the exhibition "Generated Landscapes" by Hicham Berrada. Laurent Lamacz

The products that he uses, such as copper sulphate, cobalt or iron, were once in the painter's palette before being considered too toxic. That's the end of the comparison. If painters represent forms, Berrada makes them emerge. "Painters have always represented a frozen nature at the moment T, He explains. I paint a moving nature. AT" A nature in power too, that it makes appear by jostling the parameters. And to detail: "Today, we live between â €" 10 and 35 Â ° C on average, with a relative humidity of 50%. It would be enough to change the physical variables a little, that it is warmer, that there is a little more acid in the air, so that everyone looks like something else. AT"

Thus, it reverses the rhythm of life of the night jasmine so that it embalm day. In the same way, it artificially ages metallic concretions in electrolytic baths. By mixing in a soda, acid, water and mineral aquarium, the magician shows sublime fancies. From these daring chemical combinations, the sorcerer's apprentice has shot a 360 ° film at the Louvre-Lens, a psychedelic landscape in constant metamorphosis, which literally absorbs the visitor, making him lose any spatio-temporal landmark.