Ahmed Hajeri (Ahmed Al Hajri) is a french-tunisian self-taught artist born in Tazerka, Tunisia, on November 1948.
After living a very modest lifestyle during his childhood, he emigrated to France in 1968.
He worked there a few years as an electrician before his personal sketches were discovered by Roland Morand, architect and artist.
His first exhibition, at Gallerie Messine, Paris, in 1977, was a success and attracted the attention of many.
Since then, he has been living and working in Paris.
His artwork has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the world : Galerie Fanny Guillon-Lafaille (Paris), Phyllis Kind Gallery (New York), Galerie Messine (Paris), Kanvas Art Gallery (Tunis), Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris), Seoul (Korea), Sevilla (Spain), Dakar (Senegal), Damascus (Syria).
About Hajeri’s paintings :
« In a brief moment, thousands of very deep memories have come flooding back to me. I went to an exhibition as a contemporary art professional. Indeed, this painting is in line with modernity by his treatment and subjects. It is representative of a well known and defined art movement, originating from le douanier Rousseau‘s naive paintings, XXth century’s avant-gardes in particular Chagall, 30’s to 50’s symbolists and dreamlike painters, and finally from the second half of XXth century especially Chaissac and Dubuffet.
Yet, to me it had a particular dimension, first by his titles, similar to short poems, and by his taste for narrative. Those paintings appear to be magical fairy tales, filled with wonder and stories. They evoke nature, wild olive trees, fauna, birds, and horses. Protective fishes, and Lions – symbols of Tunisia’s bravery- are often appearing.
Ahmed Hajeri’s painting calls to mind a subtile Tunisia, refined, original, and full of history. Carthage, Rome and Kairouan. A Tunisia steeped in religious tolerance and sophistication; A colorful Tunisia, blue and white like its smooth and calm shores, brown and red as its generous worked lands, green and mauve like its luxurious shaded gardens. »
by Jean-François Mozziconacci – Chief Curator of Museums, France.
freely translated from original text in french (click here to download).