Rasheed Ben Ali

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Raschid Ben Ali (* 1978 in Taza , Morocco ) is a Dutch painter of Moroccan origin.

life and work

When he was 15, his parents sent him to the Netherlands , where he has lived since 1988. He studied at the art academies of Rotterdam and Arnhem , then attended the Polytechnic of Arts in Antwerp . He lives and works in Amsterdam and London . In 2001 and 2003 exhibitions followed in the Tanya Rumpff gallery in Haarlem and in the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam. Queen Beatrix chose one of his paintings to introduce a collective exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum .

His work shows ethnic, religious and sexual tensions in the Netherlands and deals with the violence of extremism in a satirical and polemical way. Hatred and threats from Islamic fundamentalists were the result. In 2003 he won the KDR KunstRAI prijs , in 2005 40 of his more recent pictures were exhibited in the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen . Because of death threats on the occasion of one of the pictures, which shows bomb-spitting " hate preachers ", he then had to avoid the public. Since then he has needed bodyguards, the museum has paid for the costs.

According to John Frieze, the museum's curator , Ben Ali's bloody, violent and homoerotic images form a " visual report that illustrates personal dismay in the face of war , cultural and immigration-related uprooting, homosexuality , religious intolerance and discrimination ".


“I want to show people that even if you are of Muslim origin, like me, you can be completely free in your thinking. The Muslim world does not give you freedom as an individual . The social control is terrible. And to get this message across and to get people to speak, you have to break taboos . ”(Translated from El País, February 20, 2005)

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