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Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary African Art

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London

Armand Boua
B.1978
UNTITLED (DIPTYCH)
signed (lower right)
tar and acrylic on cardboard
95 by 164cm., 37½ by 64¾in.
Painted in 2014
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Provenance

Jack Bell Gallery, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Catalogue Note

Born in 1978 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Armand Boua’s artistic practice is centred on depictions of street children from his home town. Intended to serve as a sobering reminder for the rest of the world, Boua’s portraits feature abstracted Ivorian children suffering in the wake of immense violence caused by their country’s great political unrest. Neglected and without a home, these children leave their youth behind and travel to the urban districts of Abidjan in search of work during the day and shelter at night, often using cardboard or other materials they find on the street.

Opting to work on found objects, usually cardboard in homage to his subjects, Boua uses layers of acrylic paint and tar, which he strips and fades away, in order to create the highly textured and abstracted figurative compositions for which he is most known. His figures appear to effortlessly meld into the rest of the composition, ignoring the confines of their young bodies.   

By using a rather aggressive technique in combination with a subject matter that is charged with such jovial and youthful energy, Boua imbues his work with an atmosphere of both crippling violence and childlike innocence. The overall distressed and out-of-focus appearance of a work by Armand Boua evokes a sense of recollection, or rather the struggle to recollect.  Living and working in Abidjan, the artist continues to be dedicated to drawing attention to the lives of the children that are quickly fading into the background of society.

Modern and Contemporary African Art

|
London