Sab’h 2, Ink, gold and silver on linen canvas, diameter 187 cm, 2013   Graphemes on Arches, Ink on Arches vellum paper, 153 x 103 cm, 2009   Traces en Soie, one-off Aubusson low-warp tapestry in silk, wool and gold threads, 200 x 200 cm, 2012   Jorf, mixed media on linen canvas, 200 x 100 cm, 2002-07   Mahdia 1, Discharge-dyed denim, 140 x 140 cm, 1995    

Born in Tunisia in 1937, Nja Mahdaoui considers himself “an explorer of signs” and has been described as a “choreographer of letters.” He studied at the Academia Santa Andrea in Rome and at the École du Louvre in Paris. He continued his studies at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris with a grant from the Tunisian Government.

Interview with NJA MAHDAOUI: Your childhood ambition: Sentir et surtout désirer que la fête en société et la joie familiale demeurent à jamais. To feel, and above all to desire, that the celebration in society and the joy of family last forever. Something you treasure: La présence des parents. The presence of parents. Your worst habit: Très jeune à découvrir l’enchantement de l’univers en feuilletant le dictionnaire Larousse… et plus tard en pratiquant mon art sans relâche. To discover, at a very young age, the magic of the universe by reading the Larousse dictionary … and later to practice my art relentlessly. The aspect of your work that’s most important to you: Lorsque j’appréhende l’harmonie de la justesse esthétique dans l’œuvre que je realise. When I capture the harmony of aesthetic accuracy in the work I create. Your first job: Saisonnier dans une banque. Seasonal worker in a bank. Someone whose work you highly recommend: Francis Bacon Francis Bacon.   See more of Nja Mahdaoui’s work here.