Why The Contemporary Art Scene In Marrakech is Phenomenal

Rooted in North Africa, Morocco is a melting pot of cultures both native to the region and from the nearby West Asia (the Middle East) and Southern Europe. The art of Marrakech is representative of this commixing of diverse cultures and it demands to be appreciated on any visit. Here’s a few reasons why.

“Marrakech medina” by kosmoseleevike is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The city now has 25 galleries and each one offers a unique experience to the previous one. The city of Marrakech still has an old charm about it; walking through the Medina will remind you of Arabian Nights at one moment and a modern a living art display the next.

Gueliz Street Art

“Blvd Mohamed VI / Marrakech” by Images George Rex is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Gueliz, an up and coming artist neighborhood is a must visit destination. A product of its French influence, the area is home to trendy cafes, boutique clothing stores and international staples like Starbucks and Zara, but it’s also teeming with art street art that is uniquely Moroccan. Visit the Rue Oum Errabia to find breathtaking murals, or take a trip into the David Bloch Gallery to see stunning artwork from local and international artists.

Street art in Gueliz
mural at rue oum errabia via
David Bloch Gallery via

Musée Yves Saint Laurent

The Algerian born French designer Yves Saint Laurent may on the surface seem like an odd name to reference in an article about contemporary art in Marrakech, but his museum which opened in 2017 is not just a tribute to his legacy, but also the aspects of Marrakech that inspired him the most. The architecture itself may be the most stunning work of art on display, drawing inspiration from both the North African landscape and traditional architectural elements with many of the bricks and terrazzo locally made and sourced in Morocco.

It’s more than just a high-end museum. It’s a place where visitors can learn about North African culture through multiple mediums through film screenings, art and a library containing thousands of volumes of regional literature.

Riad Yima

Located in the Medina, Riad Yima is the home cum gallery of Hassan Hajjaj, who is also popularly known as Morocco’s Andy Warhol. He sells artisanal, uniquely designed products that you can enjoy while enjoying a hot cup of tea and some Moroccan pastries.

The whole gallery was created over the course of 3 years through the renovation of the old house and the installation, creation and collection of the art and furniture. Much of the art frequently featured reflects Hajjaj’s own views on changes in culture due to globalization, particularly where the boundaries of African, Arabic and Western identities are continually challenged and redefined.

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