Maïmouna Guerresi’s (born in 1951 in Vicenza, Italy, lives and works in the Veneto Region, Italy) work is a hybrid embrace of ancestry in African, Asian and European culture following her conversion to Islam. The sculptural, almost architectural creations fuse the face and limbs of the subject with the space around them, some levitating, others bodiless, their cloaks encompassing an empty expanse with their heads floating above.
Guerresi presents an intimate perspective on human spirituality in relation to mysticism, shedding a new light on community and the soul, heavily influenced by Sufi traditions in Kenya, Sudan, and Morocco. Recurrent metaphors such as milk, light, the hijab, and trees create an awareness of the vital unifying qualities of Islamic spirituality. The images are delicate narratives with fluid sequencing, an appreciation of shared humanity beyond borders – psychological, cultural, and political.
Her works are included in private and public collections worldwide, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, and Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.