Calm appearance

Calm appearance, troubled ideas

By taking a Pharaoh (Thutmose III) as model, Joukhadar wished – and how symbolic a choice! – to represent an archetype. The one on the banknotes, the effigies and medals. The archetypal leader, the political leader, the big corporate patron, the oligarch, the archetype of all men who hold immense power and still carry on their faces a very quiet mask, steadfast, superior, almost hieratic, and nothing sensual. An impenetrable and impervious mask that completely hides their true thoughts.

The different aspects of this calm are expressed on the face by the use of a symbolic colour code. On a sensuous mauve background, Joukhadar embedded in the still wet watercolour the coldness and serenity of a Prussian blue gradually sublimated by the mauve into royal blue. The earthiness of a warm ochre as well as a precious and hieratic emerald green complete the lustfulness and the voluptuousness of the whole.


In contrast to the face, the range of colours chosen for the hair represents troubled ideas. It is the same range that Joukhadar used in two works in the same cycle of paintings: ‘War’ which opens the cycle and ‘Extrovert’ which closes it. On a background of dark and cold green floats a puddle of a sinister black in which a muddy ochre and a turbid and sanguinary red are struggling.

Far from being figurative, this work is practically abstract. The face is only a marker, quickly forgotten, which guides the gaze towards a world where the colours express ideas and feelings as would the sonorities of a symphony orchestra.