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“This in-between has influenced my artistic creations because they pursue the Absent whether it is the conscious prisoner by the unconscious, the meaning blurred by nonsense, the sensible cut by reason, the elsewhere confronted with anchoring.”

Hassiba Kessaci: A Journey Between Worlds

Born in France to Algerian immigrant parents, Hassiba Kessaci‘s identity has always been nestled between diverse cultural influences. Growing up in a milieu that oscillated between Christianity and Islam, between modernity and traditional restrictions, Kessaci’s experience was unique, marked by a feeling of otherness. This sense of being perennially ‘in-between’ has profoundly shaped her artistic ethos. Kessaci, now a renowned painter, illustrator, and monotype engraver based in Rennes, France, articulates this duality through her art, which explores themes of absence and presence, clarity and obscurity, reason and sensibility. Her work is an embodiment of her personal journey, reflecting her struggle with introversion and a feeling of social alienation.

Kessaci’s art is not merely a byproduct of her cultural background but also a reflection of her innermost self. Describing herself as having been introverted and different, she delved into a world where the bizarre and nonsensical intertwined with androgyny and femininity. Her creations are a vivid portrayal of this inner world, a space where contradictions coexist and give birth to something uniquely beautiful. Through her art, Kessaci navigates the complexities of her identity, capturing the essence of being caught between two worlds. Her work invites viewers into this hypnotic realm, encouraging them to explore the nuanced interplay of various dichotomies that define human experience.

Hassiba Kessaci: The Unconventional Path to Artistry

Hassiba Kessaci’s journey into the art world was anything but traditional. Unlike many artists, she didn’t grow up in an environment that nurtured her artistic inclinations. Her initial encounter with art in high school was discouraging, leading her away from pursuing a Fine Arts scholarship. Instead, Kessaci found herself studying economics, a field far removed from her true calling. However, destiny had a different plan. When Kessaci eventually returned to the study of art, she experienced a profound sense of belonging, a realization that she was indeed meant to be an artist. This moment marked the beginning of her definitive journey into the art world.

Kessaci’s path to recognition was marked by determination and a relentless pursuit of her passion. Her talents were eventually recognized on prestigious platforms. In January 2021, she was a finalist for the Florence Contemporary Gallery Prize, and in December of the same year, she won the certificate of artistic merit from the Luxembourg Art Prize. These accolades not only affirmed her skills but also provided her with opportunities to be represented by galleries in Florence, Italy, and New York, USA. This international recognition was a testament to her unique vision and the universal appeal of her art. For Kessaci, these achievements were not just personal milestones but also affirmations of her identity as an artist, a role that she had embraced despite the odds.

The Essence of Hassiba Kessaci’s Art: Lines that Speak Volumes

Hassiba Kessaci’s artistry is marked by a distinctive style that combines the permanence of line with a depth of thematic exploration. Her lines, influenced by the expressiveness of Egon Schiele and the delicacy of Jean Cocteau, evolve to create maximalist renderings that speak volumes. Kessaci’s work is increasingly swayed by romanticism, reflecting a profound understanding of the duality of human experience. This romantic influence is evident in the way she approaches her art, akin to Victor Hugo’s description of his writing process: starting with a simple thread and unraveling it into a complex tapestry of themes and ideas. Kessaci’s art operates on two planes – the horizontal, representing the immanence of the artist’s being, and the vertical, reaching towards higher domains of excellence, universality, and transcendence.

The themes Kessaci explores in her work are a mirror to the human soul: loneliness, the tug-of-war between inclusion and exclusion, and the interplay of tragedy and alienation. Her art delves into the realms of vulnerability and sensitivity, often touching upon poetry that sways between melancholy and exaltation. Kessaci also engages with the controversial theme of fashion, viewing it as an expression of the human condition. This exploration is multidimensional, encompassing spirituality and desire, discretion and fantasy, individuality and societal norms, and the intricate question of gender. Through her art, Kessaci offers a window into the complexities of human emotions and experiences, painting a world where feelings intertwine with poetic philosophy.

Hassiba Kessaci: In the Realm of Inspiration and Influence

The artistic influences on Hassiba Kessaci are as varied as they are profound. Her art is a confluence of inspirations ranging from the voluptuous oriental beauties of Jean-Dominique Ingres to the immersive approach to color by Mark Rothko. The chiaroscuro and intense emotionality in Caravaggio’s paintings, alongside Keith Haring’s artistic candor, also find echoes in her work. These varied influences are harmoniously woven into Kessaci’s creations, which are characterized by a poetic apprehension of reality. Her art is an amalgamation of expressive and contradictory emotions – a dance of exaltation and melancholy, beauty and misfortune, consciousness, and existence. Kessaci’s adherence to Romanticism as an artistic approach is pivotal. She views Romanticism not just as a style but as a poetic essence that permeates her creations, infusing them with depth and soul.

The significant role of inspiration in Kessaci’s work is evident in her dedication to exploring and understanding different art forms and cultural expressions. Her studio, surrounded by art books and magazines, is a testament to her deep connection with the art world and its myriad personalities. Kessaci’s process of creating is also influenced by her interests outside of painting, such as her love for Asian cinema and her enjoyment of walks in both urban and rural settings. These external stimuli not only provide a respite from the rigors of artistic creation but also feed into her work, enriching it with new perspectives and ideas. In Kessaci’s universe, art is not just a means of expression but a mode of living, where every experience and influence converges to shape her unique artistic voice.

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