Recto-Verso : Hicham Benohoud

11 May - 10 June 2017

“One must always say what one sees: and especially always see what one sees.” Charles Péguy


Recto: the front of a document, verso: the back. 

A recto/verso printed document is thus printed on both sides of the paper. One might appreciate the value of a word when the meaning is also “simple, frank”, like eyes that see you without blinking. 

Here recto-verso symbolises the complexity of Hicham Benohoud. The recto is that which can be seen at first glance while the verso requires one to “turn over” the document – or an artwork – to discover the other side and its beauty. 

Such is the veritable identity of a being: history and secrets cannot be read in his features, one must dig further to discover that which is hidden behind the mask, this is the verso. 
Like his front or rear-view self-portraits, a recurring motif in Hicham Benohoud’s creative process, he seeks to go beyond what is visible to detect the part of mystery hidden behind each face, each work of art. 

“I have been working for 25 years on the question of identities, but as a visual artist I seek a plastic process.” H.B

In the artist’s own words, this technical process research offers an infinite field of plastic experimentation, which allows him to constantly renew his creativity: “tomorrow’s works will be new”. 


For this artist of a thousand talents, from professor to photographer, painter, and performance artist, the Recto-Verso series presents for the first time an exclusive and coherent group of painted photographs. Here thousands of portraits replace traditional canvas as a support for the paint. Faces are so present that they disappear, becoming a work surface, a raw medium relegated to background. 


“Everyone can identify with this face stripped of expression.” H.B

Hicham Benohoud does not seek the limelight. Emotion is foremost not because of expressions – tense, sad, or happy – but on the contrary, it is created in opposition to the total neutrality of his features by the work of painting, collage, and superposition.

It is in the plasticity of this bright, coloured world that we feel expression, not in the multiplicity of portraits. What catches our eyes cannot be reduced to what we see, nor to what we might believe. It is said that Hicham Benohoud shows himself without ever revealing himself, that is up to you!