Moroccan-French (b. 1996, Paris)
A graduate of Princeton University, Walid Layadi-Marfouk studied under artist photographers Deana Lawson and James Welling, earning degrees in photography and engineering. Avoiding stereotypical depictions of Islam, Layadi-Marfouk explores original modes of representation of ordinarily mischaracterized Muslim identities in an attempt to bring diversity to a Western-centric conversation. Through the construction of a personal visual syntax, and the use of antiquated photographic techniques that span from the 4x5 large-format film camera to halogen lights used in moving pictures in the early twentieth century, Layadi-Marfouk's staged portraits are simultaneously powerful and withdrawn, intimate and theatrical. They attempt to re-contextualize the figures–his relatives–in their culture, history, and heritage, and depart from preconceptions embedded in traditional Western imagery too often revolving around flat, grey, and anonymous depictions of pain, violence and submission.
Layadi-Marfouk is a recipient of the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts (2017).
His work is held in international institutional and private collections, including the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, the French Institute of Marrakech, and the Princeton University permanent collection.
Previous exhibitions include RIAD, Lewis Center for the Arts (Princeton, 2017); RIAD, French Consulate of Marrakech (2018); the 1-54 African Contemporary Art Fair (Marrakech, 2018); AFRICA IS NO ISLAND, Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (Marrakech, 2018); Second Generations for the U.N. General Assembly (New York, 2018).