This is the first monograph on the internationally acclaimed Ivorian-American contemporary artist Aboudia.
Aboudia (b. 1983) draws inspiration from local street culture in his hometown of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The artist is famous for his heavily layered, brutally energetic paintings that combine an innocence and spontaneity with the portrayal of a dark interior world. Since the Ivorian civil wars (2004–2011), his urban landscapes have been haunted by trauma: armed soldiers, ominous skulls, and a populace hemmed in by danger. His recent work continues to grapple with the hardships of daily life and the social inequalities within Ivorian society.
In his imagery, Aboudia refers to characters from his direct neighborhood and contemporary “Nouchi” culture and language, illustrating the vitality and resilience of the inhabitants of Abidjan. With an immense variety of details coming in and out of focus, often only revealing themselves after several viewings, his paintings are a melting pot of references, paying homage to traditional arts and spirituality but also including images from contemporary West African culture.
About The Author
Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi is a Nigerian artist, art historian, and curator, currently curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Gauz is the pen name of Patrick Armand-Gbaka Brede. Gauz is a photographer, writer, editor of a satirical Ivorian economic newspaper, and the author of the novel Debout-Payé, published in Paris in 2014 by “Le Nouvel Attila.”