Memories of Color

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Moroccan market painting

I developed this painting composition for my graduation diploma project at the Florence Classical Arts Academy. The inspiration for this painting came from the colors of the Moroccan market.

I moved to Morocco when I was seventeen and lived there for five years. Moving there was an overwhelming experience for me. I remember the first time I went to the market. The colors, the atmosphere, the organized chaos. It was another world to me. A language of sights and sounds that I didn’t understand as well as the literal language that I knew nothing of. Trying to buy a simple bag of oranges was more confusing than I ever could have imagined. Nothing in the market made sense to me. It was loud and chaotic but somehow it all flowed smoothly. A world full of color and character.

Recently I went back to visit. I was planning and researching for this painting and was hoping to do some sketches and take some photos in the market. When I got there to the market, I found that it had been shut down. Everything was gone. The street was torn up and all that was left was a pile of rubble. The market had been moved indoors into a dark building with standardized stalls and no longer existed in this open air, organic way. The market I remember no longer exists. So I worked with what I had; some old photos, my memories, and imagination. I wanted to show the balance between the chaos and rhythms. The bright colors unified in the warmth of the sun and the threads of interaction connecting the people.

In a way, this painting is about memories. Memories of Morocco and memories of my experience studying in Florence. I don’t know the next time that I will return to either place but both have changed me as an artist and as a person.

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