Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba

Born 1983, Ivory Coast.

This young artist engaged in a one year internship at l’Academie des Arts, Abidjan and had just one solo exhibition at the Centre Culturel Franco-Guinéen, Conakry, Guinea before being discovered by London based gallerist Jack Bell who gave him a solo show ‘Les Fantomes’ in his Mayfair Gallery in 2011. A second solo show is planned for early 2013 and Aboudia will also be included in Charles Saatchi’s forthcoming group show Painter’s Paintings. Aboudia lives and works in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

The riots that followed the disputed Ivorian presidential election in 2010 greatly influenced Aboudia’s painting. As the violence escalated, daily life in Ivory Coast and particularly the capital Abidjan was thrown into turmoil. In March 2011 the conflict reached a crisis point and the country broke down into civil war. During this period the artist took refuge in a basement studio and began a body of work responding to the horrors of the country’s devastating political situation.

Aboudia is noted for his large-scale, heavily layered, brutally energetic paintings that combine an innocence and spontaneity with the portrayal of a dark interior world. Armed soldiers, ominous skulls and a populace hemmed in by violence and danger, haunt his urban landscapes. While the vitality of his style recalls Basquiat, the darker undercurrents and themes are reminiscent of Goya’s battlefield.

Aboudia is also a master of multi-layered imagery as he mixes with great energy characters from his direct neighbourhood and fragments of found comic strips, advertising and the media. Aboudia’s unrestrained use of violent figuration is a welcome reminder of the power of paint to suggest the vitality and chaos of life.

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