New urbanites by Hamid el Kanbouhi

Hamid el Kanbouhi

Part of installation ‘Casting’, 2011, Hamid el Kanbouhi. Focussing on melting pot society.

This painting was stuck in the back of my mind, since I visited the local art centre in May. They had it up on the wall, and the size is impressive, 2 x 1,5 metres, but there’s more to it to stand out. I took a card of the art work home, and now I know why I keep looking at it: In this picture 6 of my personal interests (!) are presented to me in a new way.

Shopping + patterns + women going places + fabrics + phone communication + art

The painting is done by Hamid el Kanbouhi, a Dutch artist of Moroccan origins (Larache, 1976), and is part of an installation called Casting. A set up in which the viewer is also confronted with the critical comments from a jury, judging their appearance. Purely aesthetic exegesis, poured over innocent art viewers. Could be fun, could be harsh. The aim of this installation is to make people think about others and other cultures. Society and social interaction is an important theme in El Kanbouhi’s work; playing games, drinking tea, shopping, everyday social rituals. Studying the fabric of everyday life among different cultural groups, he mixes and matches whatever he likes for his work. Painting, drawing, installations, performance, video… nothing he can’t handle. With ease he portraits a new generation of urbanites embracing a clever mix of cultural folklore, religious tradition and modern wannahaves: the best of all worlds. Very now.

What I love about the painting Casting, is the Absolutely Fabulous-ness it radiates. Women with an attitude. They are early adapters, living their life in a mix of cultures and having a busy good time.

Kanbouhi, Hakkendak, 200 x 200 cm, 2011

Hakkendak (Roof of heels) 200 x 200cm, 2011

Graduating from the Rijksakademie in 2011, El Kanbouhi went on to solo exhibitions and was nominated for the Koninklijke Prijs voor de Schilderkunst with the work ‘Aanrecht’ (Kitchen Sink). The prestigious show is held in the Royal Palace on the Dam Square in the heart of Amsterdam, and the Queen herself hands out the prizes.

The setting was a far cry from ‘the tearoom’ of his Open Atelier the year before, but it emphasized the work big time, and although El Kanbouhi didn’t win a prize he got an excellent showcase.

Now he is one of the chosen artists to embellish the stops on the new subway track of Amsterdam, the NorthSouth Line. His canvas is stop Europaplein. Read about it on and vote! { if you like his work as much as I do }

Hamid el Kanbouhi

Proposal for tube station Europa Plein

Hamid el Kanbouhi

Proposal for tube station Europa Plein

Hamid el Kanbouhi

Proposal for tube station Europa Plein





The girls are out there | Photo by Newsha Tavakovia

About Wilson

relentless hunter gatherer of soothing beauty, great and small
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