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Graphis Silver Award | New York


Graphis is one of the most prestigious international publisher of communication, design, advertising, photography and illustration books. Based in New York, is considered one of the greatest bastions of design and contemporary art. Since 1944 has been selecting and awarding the best artistic works worldwide. Graphis is committed to presenting and promoting the work of exceptional talent in Design, Advertising, Photography and Art/Illustration.

Beautiful African Woman

This series, based on digital illustration, is a tribute to the woman. A tribute to her power, her beauty, her intelligence, her dynamism, her transgressive spirit, her passion for freedom, her rebellious nature, her subtlety, her desire to conquer the world, her attachment to happiness, her enthusiasm, her passion for life and her solidarity. This is a tribute to one of the women with more strength, brilliance, love and beauty I have ever known. A unique woman, an eternal woman. A woman who fought in the anonymity for the freedom and equality of African women. Mom, this is my tribute. I love you.

This artwork wants to convey a message to women so that they feel free. Always free. We have to feel free in our ideas, our creations and our feelings. Not afraid of failure, there is no absolute failure. We must fight for our dreams. We have to be clear with the idea that each woman is unique and extraordinarily strong. We have to believe in ourselves. We must love each other and fight for our dreams, our rights and our future. Let’s fight together because together we are much stronger.

The series “Beautiful African Woman”, is a tribute to the woman whose inspiration is the artist’s mother. Bakkali intends with this work “to leave the legacy of doing things normally, in total equality, feeling free. It is a colourful, enthusiastic and optimistic vision, with two key pillars, the technique and soul of the work, with which I also seek to refute stereotypes about Arab culture. It is fair and necessary for people to know that not everything is from one extreme or another, to give visibility to a free, demanding woman, owner of her own decisions and mistress of her own life”. The artist remembers how the protagonist of this work dressed trikini in the beach of Tangier in the 60s and 70s, and that did not respond more than to a normal circumstance.

Breaking stereotypes, involutionism and vindicating the right of women to decide on their future, are the messages that move this series of digital illustrations. 

The work “Beautiful African Woman”, has obtained different recognitions from the different international media and institutions, having obtained the New Talent Award of the Artists of the World International Festival of Cannes (2018), the Silver Award of the prestigious publishing house Graphis in New York (2018) or the Circle Foundation for the Arts Award in Lyon (2019), among other distinctions. On the other hand, Bakkali’s work also seeks to break with the clichés that still exist about digital art and that, as the artist recalled in her lecture at the Antonio López Arts College last March, “digital art it is still very suspicious and that has been an important handicap that I have had to deal with throughout my career”. However, and according to Bakkali, “digital tools are another means to build bridges, to express the concerns of the soul and to describe the world around us”.


Houda Bakkali exhibit her series “Women and digital art. Breaking stereotypes” in Córdoba, Spain.