Connotation : Zakaria Ramhani

17 November - 6 December 2014

The title of this exhibition Connotation perfectly captures the complex relationship between images and words. The connotation is difficult to define because it is the set of elements of a sign and is not only a reduced literal meaning.


Signs or words that have the meaning "denoted" can be found in the dictionary. Some portraits of public figures or popular icons in this exhibition represent simple reproductions of images drawn from internet.


We can talk about ownership or recuperation images rather than "traditional portraits", because I do not paint from a life model- but a more picture-based one. It is the relationship between the subject and the calligraphy that gives birth to the tension, humor and cynicism. Even the appearance of the text that forms the image is unreadable. The Arabic language creates ambiguity in the image and is put into a new context and several interpretations are then made possible.


Always in search of new topics, I have come across the research of networks - the social communication "meme". I find these inspiring images as a ‘just add text’ of our choice- for the connection to emotion or the sentiment expressed by the image, presenting endless possibilities.

If we stop in front of the triptych "I'm Sorry Father", it creates a visual illusion known as ‘un trompe-oil visuel’. At first sight, it seems as though the piece is a collage, with bits and pieces stuck together. The piece is referring to an intellectual trompe-oil once the viewer sees that the three children that are the subject of this piece are personalities whose images have always been associated with terror, fear and abuse of power (Saddam, Hitler, and Bin Laden). It is these ideally combined ideas and images which create room for endless interpretation and perceptions.”