Abdoulaye Diarrassouba

Abdoulaye Diarrassouba, also known as Aboudia is an African contemporary artist based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Born on October 21, 1983 in Côte d’Ivoire, he graduated from the School of Applied Arts in Bingerville in 2003. In 2005, he graduated from Institut des Arts in Abidjan. He first reached an international audience during the siege of Abidjan in 2011, when the conflict came close to his studio.

 In 2012 and 2014, Aboudia's work has exhibited in Africa, at the Galerie Cécile Fakhoury in Abidjan, and in Europe and America, and bought by influential contemporary art collectors including Charles Saatchi, Jean Pigozzi and Frank Cohen.Aboudia is influenced by a synthesis of American avant-garde traditions and the graffiti in the communities where he lives. The general public often relates his work to Jean-Michel Basquiat, which may seem an irritating and predictable way to establish the value of a young painter’s work. In fact, the riots that followed the disputed Ivorian presidential election in late 2010 greatly influenced Aboudia's painting. He refuses to be categorized as a 'war painter'.

 While some artists chose to flee the civil war, Aboudia decided to stay and continue working despite the danger. He worked in an artist’s studio right next to the Golf Hotel [Ouattara’s headquarters during the post-electoral crisis], He could hear the bullets zipping through the air while he painted. When the shooting got too heavy, he hid in the cellar and tried to imagine what was going on. As soon as things calmed down he would go back upstairs and paint everything he had in mind. Whenever he was able to go outside, he would paint everything he saw as soon as he returned. Some of his paintings were also inspired from footage he saw on the news or the Internet. His body of work, which he himself describes as “nouchi”, is a tribute to the essence of dreams and language. He uses materials within easy reach to express the maximum with a minimum of resources. Local galleries refused to represent his works. Most of his work, which is seen as too avant-garde for local Ivorian tastes, is bought by foreigners. The disapproval from his people did not swerve his decision to depict this national crisis in his paintings. "As an artist, my contribution is to tell our story for the next generation. Writers will write, singers will sing. I paint," Aboudia said After the war broke out, the themes of his painting has changed. His goal was to create a record of Côte d’Ivoire’s recent history. Now, he goes back to his original themes, childhood in the streets, poorness, and child soldiers.Wikipedia

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