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Moroccan Artist Reimagines Hollywood Superstars as Typical Moroccans

Source : | 8 July 2016 |  Arts & Culture | 507 views

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Rabat – Fayssal Laghmam is a 21-year-old Moroccan graphic designer whose photoshopped images showing Hollywood superstars as working-class Moroccans went viral after they were posted on July 5.

Laghmam says that his goal is to revive traditional Moroccan culture and challenge society’s contempt for the underprivileged through art.

In an interview with Morocco World News, the promising artist described what had inspired him to represent prominent American actors in different Moroccan styles.

“After I saw similar pieces made by several Arab graphic designers, I decided to place the faces of Hollywood stars on symbolic local individuals to expose our true culture and challenge society’s contemptuous view of Moroccan woman and lower-class citizens,” he said.

Laghmam wished to concentrate on the human aspect of these subjects and the actors to show that exterior appearance can be misleading and that these working-class people could also be elegant if they had been in conditions enabling them to unleash their hidden beauty.

The artist also sought to highlight Moroccan culture and art, which, in his opinion, should be appreciated rather than marginalized.

Although he went through several technical obstacles when combining the faces of Hollywood stars with pictures of local subjects, Laghmam demonstrated the breadth of his artistic credentials by portraying Angelina Jolie wearing a special colorful scarf around her head with Amazigh-style green tattoos on her face and hands.

Laghmam also portayed Leonardo Dicaprio as a handsome working-class man with blue eyes wearing a winter hat and a jacket. He placed Dwayne Johnson’s face on a guerrab, a traditional water carrier. The artist also characterized Will Smith as a native Sahrawi man from the desert, wearing a long blue shawl round his head and neck, and Vin Diesel as a man carrying a bag of cement on his shoulders.

“I spent two days working on each photo, and the final product was far more appealing than I expected at the beginning of the process,” he stated. “I did not expect that the pictures would go viral on social media, because it is difficult to satisfy all people. However, I received much positive feedback that motivates me to produce something better in the future.”

Laghmam hopes to hone his skills acquired from seven years of experience in graphic design to produce extensive portrayal and commentary on Morocco’s rich culture, which he believes should be presented in a modern and innovative style.

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