7 questions to Ghizlan El Glaoui

This week, we take you to the United Kingdom to meet an outstanding artist of Moroccan origin. Discover the 7 questions our editorial staff asked Ghizlan El Glaoui!

Ghizlan El Glaoui, Moroccan painter and daughter of the famous painter Hassan El Glaoui

Hello Ghizlan El Glaoui, thank you for accepting to answer our interview.

You are the daughter of the famous Moroccan painter, the late Hassan El Glaoui, as well as the granddaughter of the last Pasha of Marrakech. Can you tell us about your first contacts in the art world?

My grandfather, Pasha Thami El Mezouari El Glaoui, was a great art collector, but he wanted his sons to continue his dynasty in politics. It took Sir Winston Churchill to explain to him that one could make a career in politics like him and love painting. So it was decided to send my father to study painting at the Beaux-Arts. My father, Hassan El Glaoui, was the artist of the El Glaoui family! He was a collector and artist. We, his children, grew up in his studio, posing for his portraits. I was lucky enough to be lulled by art at a very early age.

You could have chosen to do another profession than that of the painter, but finally, you decide to become a painter like your father, why?

It's not easy to do the same job as your father. The famous name of my father in the field of art is a nice shadow. But finally, I would say that it is more difficult. So much is expected of you because you are the daughter of a famous artist. I think it starts with the family, whose critics are acerbic. Art is Hassan El Glaoui's domain and as his daughter, you have no right to make mistakes! This being the case, I think I have learned a lot from his hours of posing and observing the artist at work, so I let myself think that art obviously runs in my veins, and I finally let myself express a passion that for me, is surely quite legitimate.

Ghizlan El Glaoui, painter of Moroccan origin

Has your father's fame been a brake or a springboard for your career?

It's interesting because I think it not only helped motivate me to work harder, but it really helped me create my own style, my own signature as an artist!

It's only recently that I've started to get interested in Dad's favorite subject, which is the horse, and more specifically his face.

Horse by Ghizlan El Glaoui, 90 x 70.

What are your current projects?

I have been using the Covid time to prepare several projects. I have a proposal for an exhibition in Rabat Casa and Marrakech that I am thinking of calling "Portraits in Heritage" with some beautiful portraits of me by Hassan El Glaoui, and a nice collection of portraits of Berber women.

I would like to make the tribe of my grandfather, the last chief of the South, shine again. Berber blood also runs in my veins.

Femmes berbères série by Ghizlan El Glaoui

You are a portraitist who likes to paint mainly portraits of women who have marked histories, such as Frida Kahlo, Brigitte Bardot, Romy Schneider and many more... Why did you choose these famous women?

I think the commonality of beauty and complexity of femininity attracts me. I have a waiting list of muses and suddenly it's obvious, it's time to paint her! I also like to make passionate and exciting women shine. To represent them to make them live again.

I also like to paint endangered animals, to raise awareness through art on a subject that is close to my heart in order to preserve the beauty of our endangered wildlife.

In your videos on social networks, you have fun playing several roles. Today you are Dita Von Teese, tomorrow Beyonce, another day Monica Belluci to name a few, what is the source of this inspiration?

I wanted to be an actress and I was already putting on plays by Cocteau or Jean Anouilh at the National Theater of Rabat where I was in charge of negotiating the theater, the set, as well as putting on the entire play for which I was given the main role. I was really passionate about it, but my parents didn't want to let me take this artistic path. For them, it wasn't a serious enough profession. And now thanks to my favorite app @reface, I can have fun dreaming about my career and get back to my first passion, cinema. I also live it by following closely the adventures of my beautiful actor and nephew @bricebexter elected Arab Star this year.

Ghizlan El Glaoui en Dita Von Teese

What is your favorite hobby, when you are not painting?

I love reading Chopin and playing the piano since I was a child in Morocco. I like to play the memorabilia from my conservatory, read new scores and discover new melodies. I also love to play golf. I was my father's golf companion for many years. Golf is a "very Glaoui" passion! The first golf course in Africa was created by my grandfather Pacha Thami El Glaoui on his land in Marrakech, and it is still to my eyes the most beautiful golf course in the world.