Natural Homies, 2019
From the series "Sir Mix A Lot"
Certificate of authenticity - Signed by artist
Natural Homies, 2019
Born in Morocco and raised in Belgium; a self-taught photographer-cum-artist – Lamrabat’s is a tale of multiple identities, of many boxes – and, in turn, of the subversion and breaking-out of these boxes. Today Lamrabat’s vision, his place of belonging, comes to exist – like Belgium and Morocco – in the physical world as photographic series. It is the development of an archive of images that represent the specific vision of Lamrabat, spotlighting the world he sees, the world he lives in. And it is here, as images fictionally located in Mousganistan, that we find his latest body of work, Sir Mix A Lot.
“Mousganistan is a place I‘ve fantasised about since I was a kid. I never gave it a name back then, but it was a place where I felt I could be 100% myself.”
Images with an accessible and axiomatic reference to art history, Sir Mix A Lot sees the deliberate interweaving of historically Eurocentric and globally contemporary aesthetics to playfully break with the traditions of the established, normative (art) world. Staying true to Lamrabat’s vision, the works featured in this series discern the collision of multiple spheres – and we are presented with a body of photography that is only possible precisely because of its very unlikely – yet clearly coveted – intermingling of ambivalent iconography. Immerse yourself in Lamrabat’s subjects and their history, and you’ll quickly find that this is a body of work worth collecting.
The transparency and openness of Lamrabat’s images is infectious, and lends to their playful and whimsical quality – not to mention their value as a photographic archive.
Natural Homies sees two figures adorned with bouquets of flowers. Enmeshed in chainmail armour reminiscent of medieval armour, the flowers form a sort-of protective shield, a flower-mask, over Lamrabat’s subject’s faces while their chests and arms remain bare. They wear tracksuit pants pulled up to their waists. For Lamrabat, there is no specific reason for the iconography of this image, no particular agenda.
“I remember thinking to make a flower mask. I never tried it to see how it would look, but on set we just tried it. I was so in love with it that I didn’t want any other garment in the picture. It was so pure and it became something poetic that I just made it about the flower-masks. I’m sure I can come up with something more sophisticated as an explanation, but if you want the truth, it was love at first sight. I had so much emotion… And emotion is something that I’m always looking for in my work.”
Mous Lamrabat is a photographer, born in the north of Morocco. As a young child, his family moved to Belgium where he grew up. After finishing his studies as an interior architect, he was eager to learn to work the camera.
Self-taught, he developed his own unique vision on fashion photography and later on managed to fuse his moroccan roots, tradition and culture with the western world he grew up with. The last years his moroccan DNA is flowing more and more through his veins and his works. The urge to show this rich moroccan heritage through an artistic eye is present in everything he portraits and the inspiration he gets from his motherland is endless.