I Always Wanted To Be A Gangster

“I Always Wanted To Be A Gangster” is a title of one of Taher Jaoui’s works.
Taher Jaoui uses different sources of inspiration, spanning from cartoon and graffiti-like drawings to Abstract Expressionism and Primitivism movements.


Creating captivating and labour intensive work with an idea of continuing the legacy of abstract expressionism movement from the 50s and 60s, Taher Jaoui's paintings are rich assemblages of layered forms, vibrant colours, expressive gestures, and mathematics signs and formulas. Applied on canvas through a dynamic interaction, a physical back and forth dialogue in which perspective and orientation continuously change until all the elements are balanced right, these opulent creations are the artist's personal way of expressing himself.


“I compare my work to a dance routine with a familiar partner”

“Balancing between his thoughts and feelings while creating”


Through a series of spontaneous movements, directly inspired by the way canvas responds to layers of paint and gestures applied to it, Jaoui compares his work to a dance routine with a familiar partner. And while impulsive and unconstrained in its core, the familiarity with materials is essential for the creative process that strongly depends on the ability to respond quickly and foresee the way the elements will work together. Layering pastels, oils, and acrylics, the artist accents the richness of his work by constructing a raw texture which directly captures the physical energy put into each piece. Serving as a channel to convey his thoughts, emotions, and visions, the artistic practice is Jaoui's source of confidence and peace, while the finished work becomes a documentation of the process of achieving those feelings. Without any formal art education, his artistic practice is influenced by African primitive art, graffiti, glitch art, COBRA movement as well as the philosophy and attitude of post- war abstract expressionism. Varying from simple forms and patterns over-familiar shapes that reminiscent of abstracted skulls, all the way to chalkboard-like scribble sections, the canvas surface becomes the workspace through which the artist exercises his ways of expression. The concept of building something from a variety of singular elements is a direct result of computer science and engineering studies, parts of which are coming to life through abstract mathematics signs and formulas sometimes incorporated into Jaoui's entrancing compositions. This element, along with the spatial vision of the surface, once again makes a strong connection with early abstract expressionism concepts which considered ideas of quantum mechanics in their conceptualisationRegularly working on a large scale, the works which are exclusively built in an automatic or subconscious manner, are actually demanding careful planning and utilisation of space and materials. While balancing between his thoughts and feelings while creating, Jaoui's work carries that sense of rebellious, anarchic, highly idiosyncratic and, some might say nihilistic feel to it, yet still constructing an endless the base for viewer-dependent interpretation and experience.



Represented by Kremers Gallery (Berlin), Oliver Cole Gallery (Miami), Bivins Gallery (Dallas), Uncommon beauty Gallery (New York), Mika Gallery (New York/Tel Aviv), Opera Gallery (Dubai), Graham Modern and Contemporary (Johannesburg), Jinsan Gallery (Seoul), Banzy Gallery (Beirut) and Smart BA Gallery (Buenos Aires).Taher Jaou is orginaly an engineer and also worked in Investment Banking in Paris. . Due to his visceral need to be express himself in a different way, he start to study acting in Paris then in Los Angeles. After a short carrier as an actor in Paris,  he decided to move to Berlin in 2014 and decide to put all his energy into painting. Painting is for Taher the perfect and unexpected way to explore his passion for acting, mathematics and manual activities. 

Source: taher-jaoui