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Rachid Ben Ali: Moroccan-Dutch Artist's Work Exposes Ethnic, Religious and Sexual Tensions


By Antoine du Rocher

Amsterdam, 22 January 2005 — Located in the suburb of Amstelveen, situated in the southern part of Amsterdam, the Cobra Museum of Modern Art's new show is devoted to the controversial Moroccan-Dutch artist Rachid Ben Ali (b. 1975 Taza, Morocco).

Rachid Ben Ali
Photo courtesy of Cobra Museum of Modern Art

His works have already triggered anger and threats from Islamic militants in the Netherlands—a country where a history of religious and social tolerance has been called into question by recent incidents such as the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Moroccan-Dutch Muslim extremist.

Rachid Ben Ali
Photo courtesy of Cobra Museum of Modern Art

According to curator John Frieze, Ben Ali's gory, violent and homoerotic canvases form a visual narrative that illustrate personal concerns about the war, cultural and migratory displacement, homosexuality, religious intolerance and discrimination. The exhibition, on view until 6 March, features some 40 recent paintings.

Cobra Museum of Modern Art
Sandbergplein 1
Amstelveen NL
(31) 20 547 50 50

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