Tarek Ben Yakhlef alias Tarek

French artist: painting, photography, street art and comics.
Born in Paris in 1971 and working in Rennes.
Member of MDA, the charter of the authors and the ADAGP.


Graduate of the Sorbonne (University Paris I) in medieval history and art history, Tarek released Paris Tonkar in 1991 at the age of 19 years: the first art book published in Europe dedicated to Spraycan art in Paris. It has become a reference for all urban art lovers as well as for Hip-hop specialists. He has exhibited his first paintings in 1992 in the Espace Chapon at the great exhibition Paris Graffiti, a significant event because the magazine 1Tox was presented the same time. He helped organize this exhibition and launch of the magazine: graffiti art knows his moment of glory during this period.

Tarek chose to break away from that environment to better concentrate on his studies and writing of his master devoted to the Neo-Platonists in Baghdad during the golden age of the Abbasids. He studied Arabic at the Bourguiba Institute in Tunis from 1992 to 1993, while making numerous photo reports. Tarek has lived in Damascus between 1995 and 1997, where he taught French and has given conferences at the French Cultural Centre (Damascus and Aleppo) and the School of Fine Arts in Latakia. His photographic work is exposed to Latakia and Damascus, then in France in many places including the Syrian Cultural Center in Paris and various cultural areas in the provinces.

Since 1999, Tarek has written more than sixty albums; he has worked with several publishers and he has won many awards including the Saint-Michel for Best Screenplay in 2007 for Sir Arthur Benton. That same year, his work on this series has been exhibited at the Caen’s Memorial for four months: it was the first time a comic was well highlighted in a place for history and memory. His comics for young people are regularly used in schools since 2004. He regularly gives conferences on comics, history and contemporary art.

In 2009, he participated in a symposium on the Cold War in Caen’s Memorial by presenting his work on propaganda and Comics during this period.

Tarek is dedicated more to photography and is currently preparing an anniversary edition of his first book also a book on the history of graffiti from 1983 to 1995. For twenty years he has worked and reflects on different artistic expressions: comics, graffiti, urban art, photography, video, Arabic calligraphy. He also worked in lot of magazines such as Bédéka, Meuriad or Ya ! as a journalist and comic book author. The year 2010 marked a turning point in his artistic career began as a leading journal dedicated to urban art: Paris Tonkar magazine and regular contributor to International Hip-Hop, Cosmic Hip-Hop and Fatcap magazine. The same year he co-wrote the script for a pilot for American TV series and began to exhibit his artistic works in Switzerland and in Canada before proposing his artwork and photographic in France!

The comic is not neglected so far: he has written a new series including superheroes Blateman et Bobine with Vhenin’s drawing (published in December 2015), another on the Gallic Wars (two volumes available, the first was presented in preview at Angoulême in 2012 IDBF) and Turcos a story on « Indigènes » in the trenches, in Tartamudo publishing. The album was nominated for the Tournesol prize and Tarek presented his documentary Turcos le making-off, during the FIBD at Angoulême, France.

Tarek has also published a comic book with Seb Cazes to the drawing published by the Pan waffles entitled Le Concierge. The reception of the public and the press were unanimous in welcoming the audacity and the quality of this story. At the same time, he has exhibited in France in P1110762new galleries, participated in auctions in Lyon and Paris at Artcurial … The gallery Philippe Gelot represents him in Paris and supports his work. He participates in many events of urban art in France and Greece. His collages are visible all over the world!

Since September 2013, the galerie 203 in Montreal reprents him in Canada … On the comics book, this year also marks a new phase because some of his albums are available in English and Flemish. Between 2013 and 2014 he exhibited his paintings twice in New York where he goes for a live painting.

The Urban gallery in Paris and Cognac art gallery permanently exhibit his latest works in volume as well as large format paintings . Many of his paintings join private collections of companies and public institutions: museums and cities. He also participated in many auctions either in Paris or Lyon. The online gallery Newarty’s has incorporated some of his artworks from 2013: his work immediately a great success with their collectors.

In 2015, Tarek began a collaboration with the collective Parcours Aucwin and he has also boosted the collective Partitions urbaines with whom he exhibited in many galleries in France and realized urban performance, mainly in Paris and Rennes. His comics books series continue to arouse the enthusiasm from the public: the Gallic Wars gets the award for best historical series in comics convention in Rive de Giers and the drawings of the two albums are exhibited in many public institutions. The gallery L’œil ouvert (Republique and St. Paul) in Paris now presentsoriginal artworks of Tarek: drawings and customs. At last, he began an artistic collaboration with the gallery Jed Voras (Paris): collective exhibition, happening at the regional elections in France …

The Depôt art gallery in Athens proposed to Tarek becoming resident artist and a major exhibition collective in December has formalized this new collaboration. As regards his writing, Tarek began to work on several projects including a scenario of Hannibal Barca with Vincent Pompetti to the drawing (scheduled in Tartamudo publishing); the following of the Blateman et Bobine‘s comic book with Vhenin and a short film script.

In 2016, he exhibited his paintings at several solo show in Paris, Moulins, Pacé and Rennes. The success was huge! It also participates in urban culture festivals in Pacé, Rouen and Paris, where he is involved in realizing performance on wall and canvas. At the first Urban Art Fair in Paris, he meets Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper on the occasion of a conference on the origin of the graffiti movement. The anniversary edition of Paris Tonkar is scheduled for September 2016.

In Hamburg (Germany), Tarek has proposed the public to discover his artworks in many galleries and became known to the French community living in this city. He has exhibited at the Cultural Boat MS Stubnit, the Kunsthaus an der Alster gallery and Studio Longboard.