Calligraphist and decorative painter Tarek Benaoum has Algeria, Italy, and French in his blood, but it’s all gold when he writes across walls. A graffiti writer who studied script formally in his early twenties, his hybrid of Arabic and gothic takes him from wall to canvas in both hemispheres.
At the request of the Parisian public housing agency Régie Immobilière de la Ville (RIVP), Art Azoï conjured a solution to rehabilitate this massive structure with a mural that would resonate with the locality and its residents. The Salé-born Benaoum rose to the challenge with a 40 x 15 meter mural in his signature blue and gold on the south gable of this building on the boulevard Mortier in the 20th arrondissement.
Standing at the outer rim of these circular motifs are texts by the Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti from his 1969 book Freedom from the Known (Se libérer du connu), a treatise on the only worthwhile revolution: inner liberation.
Among the famous quotes often remembered from the book is this one, “To be free of all authority, of your own and that of another, is to die to everything of yesterday, so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigor and passion.”