We discovered the Tunisian
painter Ridha Mehadhebi at the museum of Sidi Bou Said, this charming and
typical city located at the North of Tunis.
Born in the medina of Tunis in
1946, the son of a weaver, Mehadhebi grew up in a marvellous universe of
colours and harmony.
Being fascinated since childhood
with the world of art, he made the first steps on the way to discover his
talents when his lips flirted with his little harmonica; later he took
courses at the Conservatory of Tunis and managed to play the lute
After his schooling he became a
French language teacher and later the director of a primary school in a
During his deep spiritual quest,
he discovered an intense attraction to shapes and colours. During a
sojourn in Germany he displayed his works in a railway station for
pleasure. Surprised by the success of these haphazard exhibits, he decided
at his return in Tunisia to go ahead and organise more structured
Artistically self-educated, Ridha
Mehadhebi works with passion, combining painting and collage, using
various forms of papers (metallic, coloured, newspaper clips), oil paint,
aquarelle to create geometric compositions, superimpositions, shadings
taking the desired forms to tell the story of a chosen theme.
During his artistic journey,
Mehadhebi has displayed his paints many times since 1977 in numerous
Tunisian galleries, such as the cultural houses of Ibn Khaldoun and Sidi
Bou Said, in Carthage, Kram and La Marsa; as well as in several German
galleries in 1982.
Nowadays Ridha Mehadhebi is a
pedagogical adviser for plastic arts in Tunis and in parallel he paints
and prepares new exhibits.
His works, geometric assemblies,
modelled in a naive and cubic style and architectural reconstructions of
the universe of his childhood "Sidi Bou Said", outlined by the
feather of his dreams where painting and collage, realities and fiction,
sounds and colours merge as if to pay tribute to past times, still alive
in his memories.