Solo show by the Ivorian artist Armand Boua on view at Galerie Cécile Fakhoury

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Solo show by the Ivorian artist Armand Boua on view at Galerie Cécile Fakhoury
Sans titre #2, 2018, mixed media, 187 x 171 cm © Armand Boua.

DAKAR.- Galerie Cécile Fakhoury - Dakar is presenting Brobrosseurs, a solo show by the Ivorian artist Armand Boua.

In Nouchi, a popular slang spoken in the streets of Abidjan, a ‘‘brobrosseur’’ is a resourceful person able to navigate the though realities of street life in order to survive. Working as pickers one day and as carters the next, Brobrosseurs are the various characters and destinies Armand Boua gives shape to in his paintings.

To explore an exhibition by Armand Boua is to dive into the vibrant and at times violent contemporary street life of Abidjan. Abstract silhouettes are welcoming us. They will accompany us from one everyday life scene to another. Their faces lack details, nevertheless they stare at us intensely and stand before us with the placidity of those who have seen and lived everything. Yet, some of them are youngster, just out of their childhood spent in the streets where Armand Boua met them and where they are used to spend time together. Time is a central theme in Armand Boua’s painting, and so is characters’ wait, whether it is voluntary or forced. It seems to highlight in reverse the frantic rhythm of contemporary urban world. ‘‘Tout près n’est pas loin (very close is not far)’’ tells us an Ivorian saying, reminding us that there is a hope for better days for those whose who know how to wait.

Under the artist’s hand, the street becomes an epic field of representation. Composition and close framing give Armand Boua’s paintings a photographic dimension. Caught in action, those silhouettes painted in black are surrounded by colorful halos resembling powerful auras as if revealed in negative thus creating a vibrant and blurred atmosphere hallucinatory visions can emerge from.

The dazzling quality of Armand Boua’s paintings conceals the long creative work at stake. Each of the painting is made of several layers of material - newspapers, cardboard, papers - which are gathered by the artist, glued together and painted before being washed and brushed in a cathartic gesture. At the heart of these contemporary palimpsests lie the fragments of a contemporary urbanity revealed to us through the urgency of an aesthetic gesture that reminds us of the Affichistes movement in the 1970s.

Brobrosseurs is a wandering through Abidjan’s popular streets. There, a series of encounters is occuring. There are key moments taken from the artist’s own life which he compells us to experience as well through his painting. As those moments scroll at their own pace under our eyes and consciousness, they are acquiring the vividness of personal memories. Armand Boua’s paintings are places for multifaceted urban contemporary narratives enlivened by the poetry of the mundane.

Armand Boua Born in 1978 in Abidjan in Ivory Coast. He lives and works in Abidjan.

After studing at École des Beaux-Arts and Centre Technique des Arts Appliqués in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Amand Boua chose painting as the medium to develop his artistic practice.

In 2007, Armand Boua exhibited his work for the first time at Festival des Arts Visuels in Abidjan. Stricken by urban life and the laborious existences of those trying to survive in these conditions, Armand Boua dedicated his work to them. He paints predominatly on cardboard, a rough material the artist finds in the very streets that inspire him. As he continued to explore this topic, he participated at the 9th edition of Dakar Biennale in Senegal in 2010 and in 2012 in the group show Un regard sur Abidjan at the Eiffage Foundation in Dakar as well.

In 2015, Armand Boua participated in the exhibition Pangaea II: New Art from Africa - Latin America at Saatchi Gallery in London, United Kingdom. The same year, he was selected to exhibit his work in the group show Past Perfect / Future Present in the frame of the auction house‘s program Christie’s Curates in London.

Armand Boua draws his inspiration and picks his pictorial subjects from his daily life and the human encounters he experiences. His choice of a rather abstract representation of characters, ethereal shapes of silhouettes, enables him to distance himself from the immediacy of denunciation and to inscribe his practice in a universal geography and temporality opened to multiple readings.

Armand Boua has participated in various solo shows around the world such as Dans le Djassa at Lars Kristian Bode in Hambourg, Germany in 2018; Children of Africa at Create Hub Gallery in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2017; and Forgotten People at Ethan Cohen Gallery, New York, United States in 2016.

His works have entered several private collections worldwide namely the Saatchi collection in the United Kingdom, Franck-Suss Collection in Hong-Kong and Tiroche-DeLeon collection in Israel.

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