Between Middle-Eastern cultural diversity and Western esthetics, Philippe Boulakia has explored his own entangled identities through his work. The son of Tunisian immigrants in France, Philippe Boulakia’s youth was spent in the alleyways of Paris. He immigrated to Israel alone as a young boy. After he finished his studies at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, he began his career as an independent graphic designer and founded his branding company in Tel Aviv. As a versatile artist, he uses a wide range of styles and techniques: he paints mostly with acrylic on canvas, while also creating prints on pages of old books or yellowing newspapers. Boulakia bonds with history-absorbing materials, and reacts to human presence in any form: whether direct or infused in objects or papers.
Boulakia moves freely between abstract and figurative icons, between exacting draftsmanship and amorphous doodles, at times he maintains a romantic intimacy at others he is attracted to a mucky morbidity. An important element in Boulakia’s work is his relation to nature and its infinite artifacts. Like an old-school botanist he collects leaves and stalks, seed pods and different pine cone in his studio where he impresses them into damp surface of the plaster to conserve their traces-signs.