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"He begins to examine the potential of his artistic technique by transforming wine into pigment, and discovers a palette rich in nuances of colors."

Born in 1974 in Bourgoin-Jallieu in France, Keya was enrolled from an early age in a plastic art workshop for adults.

Attracted by wear of time on old objects and old patinas, he participated in a restoration project of the castle of Saint-Quentin Falavier (Isère) in 1983. Cement, stones, fossils and pottery contributed to the construction of what would become his graphic universe.

Dark and decisive, the year 1992 marks a turning point in the life of the man and the artist, who will carry out his military service as a deminer in Yugoslavia. Paradoxically, the plastic beauty of his works is based on the contrast of flat areas of warm and cold colors, which will become his artistic signature.

From 1997 to 2000, he made a decisive shift to abstract expressionism and developed his hallmark style by working from the reduction of materials into pigment : such as rust, coal, earth, wood. In this way, the tool and the process of creation are as crucial as the finished work. 

In 1999, he will meet Charles Zalber, owner of Lucie Weill and Seligmann gallery. This collaboration will be the result of many exhibitions in France, and abroad.

Alongside artists such as minimalist plastic artist Pierette Bloch, (Galerie Lucie Weill Seligmann), Keya learns poetry, accuracy and simplicity, which lead to questioning the relationship that drawing maintains with time and writing. 

In 2010, Keya moved to the Caïrabes and discovered Caribbean art through the work of artists such as LAM, Michel Rovelas, Goody, coming from the young Caribbean generation, pioneering the contemporary art of the islands with artistic influences ranging from America to the african continent.

In his series of art works named Dare Humanity in 2012, the artist creates an alphabet from cuneiform inspiration, attracted by the aesthetic of elongated characters, which allow him to express universal messages : his indignation of human intolerance , racism and homophobia.

Beyond the mystical and spiritual aspect of writing, his painting question us about our part of primitivity. 

During his stay at the Hotel La Mamounia located in Marrakech, Keya broadens and deepens her commitment to abstract painting by meeting sommelier Mikael Rodriguez, who will entrust him about wine :

"The magic of wine is water trapped for thousands of years in limestone soil. This same water, drawn by the roots of a vine, will offer contemporary fruit."

The starting point of a frenzied search for testimonies, from winegrowers and owners of estates in all four corners of France.

He begins to examine the potential of his artistic technique by transforming wine into pigment, and discovers a palette rich in nuances of colors. A unique treatment that he continues to perform through his various collaborations with prestigious estates, including Château Dassault, and Château Angelus.

The artist experiences the impact of history on what he tastes, he becomes aware of the symbolic and mystical significance of wine within civilizations from ancient times to the present day.

Installed in Marrakech since 2016, whose smells, songs, music, reminds him of his hometown Bou-Saada (Algeria). For Keya, it is "a city with multiple horizons, colors and refined disorder that Majorelle and Yves Saint Laurent loved so much."

In recent years Keya has been exhibited around the world, notably at the Four Seasons Marrakech and Cassablanca (2018) through the exhibition "to remember", Art Basel Miami (2016), Pool Art Fair (2015), The Cool Heart Gallery in Los Angeles (2019) - (2020).

Text : Isabelle CAPALBO

Photo : Messaouda Asloum

Mains exhibitions & Partnership


• Black Room Art Gallery / Marrakech - Maroc.

• The Cool Heart Art Gallery / Los Angeles - USA. 


• BCK Art Gallery / Marrakech - Maroc.

• Black Room Art Gallery / Marrakech - Maroc.

• The Cool Heart Art Gallery / Los Angeles - USA.


• Four Seasons / Marrakech - Maroc.

Four Seasons / Casablanca - Maroc.


• Art Basel / Miami - USA.


• Pool Art Fair - Caraïbes.


• Salon des Realites Nouvelles, Paris - France.

• Espacio de Artes et Lettres de Premia de Dalt, Barcelone - Espagne.


• Salon de GARCHES - France.

• Exodus, Galerie «C’LA», Guadeloupe, Antilles Françaises.

• Carrys’art, Orlando - USA.


• 100 Kubik Galerie. Cologne - Allemagne.

• Art Elysées, Paris - France.

• Empty space, New-York - USA.


• Art Paris, Paris - France.

• Galerie Brockstedt. Berlin - Allemagne

• Réalisation des montres «Keya» en collaboration avec la maison ROLANDRÉ, Genève - Suisse. 2008 Art Elysées, Paris - France.

• Biennale de Marrakech «Salon d’Hiver», Marrakech - Maroc.


• « Inspirations contemporaines », Paris - France.


St’Art (11e édition), Strasbourg - France.


• Espace FMR. Lyon - France.

• Art a Sarria / Espagne.