Armand Boua

Born 1978, Ivory Coast.

Armand Boua lives and works in Abidjan. In 2014 he had his first solo show ‘Enfants de la Rue’ at the Jack Bell Gallery in London. Recent acquisitions have been made by the Saatchi Gallery, UK, and the Tiroche DeLeon Collection, Israel.

The violence that followed the disputed Ivorian presidential election in late 2010 greatly influenced Armand Boua’s work. As the conflict escalated, many children were separated from their families amidst the political turmoil that enveloped Abidjan. These children find themselves vulnerable to exploitation. The artist takes these street kids as subjects for his portraits exploring their loss and displacement. Boua explains: ‘I wanted to show their suffering, their way of life, so that people are finally aware of this painful reality they pretend not to see’.

Boua is noted for his textured and layered compositions, using tar and acrylic on found cardboard boxes. Each layer is applied and then scrubbed and stripped back, leaving abstract forms that come in and out of focus. His use of found materials – recycling the cardboard boxes used as makeshift shelters by street kids – shows a strong engagement with his environment.

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