Born in 1974 in Casablanca, Booshra grew up in Belgium where her parents introduced her to the delights of painting at a young age. Always having to straddle two worlds seems to be a characteristic of this self-taught painter’s life. Her childhood was spent navigating two vastly different cultures, that of the Catholic school run by nuns, and the life of the mosque. This religious and cultural dichotomy has influenced her thinking and her creative life ever since.
An avid traveller, Booshra’s journeys across Asia, Africa and the Pacific provided her with the opportunity to explore new techniques while developing her unique and iconic style, while working with local ingredients and natural pigments. Over the years, her use of blue pigments on monumentally sized canvasses have become synonymous with her painting style. Her journeys have also presented her with the opportunity to live a nomadic life within nomadic cultures, a transcultural experience which still provides her with constant inspiration for her portraits.
Her 2017 solo exhibition, entitled Muse has shown at the Candice Berman Gallery is a collection of portraits in which the artist explores the essence of the human condition and the belief in the simple authenticity of man, that which binds us together instead of separating us. For Booshra this is captured in the quiet, silent force of the lively eyes of her sitters, her muses.
Booshra states “Painting is the medium that allows me to explore this silent gaze of the eyes. They are the inspiration for my artworks. They are the primary focus. The large scale of my portraits show fragility without idealising, they do not hide their scars or their beauty. They are just what they are. It is precisely this authentic part in each of us that fascinates me, that which binds us instead of separating us. It is transmitted in the silence of the gaze. It says everything by saying nothing.”