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Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba

Artist 238 Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba A record of Côte d'Ivoire's recent history Painting Journalism

Aboudia Diarrassouba (born 1983) ,also known as Aboudia, is an Ivory Coast contemporary artist who specializes in painting. He is based in Brooklyn, New York. Aboudia is influenced by a synthesis of American avant-garde traditions and the graffiti in the communities where he lives.

Many in the art world relate his work to Jean-Michel Basquiat,who was the first black American who gained fame for his contemporary paintings with African characteristics. Basquiat combined African and Afro-American culture and style in his work, which may seem an irritating and predictable way to establish the value of a young painter's work. This fusion of culture and style can be seen in Abdouia's work as well. Abdouia's work uses both indirect and direct references to African and western styles.

In fact, the riots that followed the disputed of the Ivorian presidential election in late 2010 greatly influenced Aboudia's painting. He refuses to be categorized as a 'war painter'. During several months of war, Aboudia depicted the hostile crowds, terrified civilians, dead people and weapons around him.

The paintings of Aboudia use colourful, wild, childlike style and their large size which is inspired by graffiti on walls and kid's drawings that express their anger or their dreams. Like a street painter, Aboudia captures the energy of the streets in Abidjan and often works on series of paintings.

On his style he remarks, “My work is similar to that of a journalist writing an article: I was simply describing a situation, in order to create a record of my country’s recent history. But even before the crisis I worked on similar themes, childhood in the streets, poorness, child soldiers. I'm an ambassador of the children - they do writings on the walls, their wishes, their fears, I'm doing the same on my canvas. I'm like a megaphone for these children."

When asked about his experience painting during the civil war he says, "While some artists chose to flee the civil war, I decided to stay and continue working despite the danger. I worked in an artist’s studio right next to the Golf Hotel [Ouattara’s headquarters during the post-electoral crisis], I could hear the bullets zipping through the air while I painted. When the shooting got too heavy, I hid in the cellar and I tried to imagine what was going on. As soon as things calmed down I would go back upstairs and paint everything I had in mind. Whenever I was able to go outside, I would paint everything I saw as soon as I returned. But the real life fear was with us every moment."

Aboudia describes his body of work as “nouchi” it is a tribute to the essence of dreams and language. He uses materials within easy reach to express the maximum depth of content 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. #AboudiaAbdoulayeDiarrassouba #archiving #recenthistory #PaintingJournalism #painting #news #warexperiences #artblog #artistoftheday #artistsoninstagram #artresearcher #celebratingart #investigatingart #blog #artist #art #contemporaryart #artistbio #arthistory #artresearch #contemporary Sources Consulted…/en…/us_56255056e4b02f6a900d59a6/amp


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