The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ivorian Artist Paints as Bullets Whizz Overhead
A work depicting recent upheavals by Ivorian artist Aboudia, 26, whose full name is Abdoulaye Diarrasouba, is seen in Ivory Coast's main city in this Abidjan April 19, 2011 file photo. Aboudia's work over the past few months provides a haunting interpretation of the uncertainty and violence sweeping the country since incumbent Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power after losing an election to his rival Alassane Ouattara. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly.

By: Finbarr O'Reilly

ABIDJAN (REUTERS).- While fighting raged on the streets outside his studio in Abidjan and stray bullets hissed through the air overhead, Ivorian artist Aboudia painted.

Only when the walls of his studio shook from the concussions of nearby explosions did Aboudia, 26, seek shelter in a basement.

"I was so afraid while I was painting all these tableaus," he said, casting a glance over a collection of work created during the months of political upheaval in the West African nation since a disputed election last November.

"Some work was hard to finish, a lot of the paint is running, dripping. It's not intentional, but it's like fear or sweat, or tears -- like my soul is crying," said Aboudia, whose full name is Abdoulaye Diarrasouba.

His work over the past few months provides a haunting interpretation of the uncertainty and violence sweeping the country since incumbent Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power after losing an election to his rival Alassane Ouattara.

The deadlock was broken when Gbagbo was arrested two weeks ago after French and United Nations forces attacked his military installations and residence.

Thousands died during the unrest. The main city of Abidjan remains awash with fighters and violence has simmered.

"Nobody knows what will happen in future, but this is a precise moment in Ivorian history," said Aboudia.

He depicted it in ghoulish paintings spanning several metres (yards), with dark shades punctuated with bright reds, yellows and blues.

"It's somber, to show the atmosphere that surrounds us," Aboudia said.

The dripping paint also makes some of the work appear as though it's melting in Abidjan's sweltering heat.

Influenced by the late American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, Aboudia blends graffiti with traditional African and modern Western art.

Crowded scenes interspersed with text and newspaper clippings capture a feeling of oppression in a city, where thick tropical vegetation presses up against dilapidated buildings and overgrown parks.

The conflicts main players are portrayed in the paintings -- Gbagbo's fearsome youth militias, pro-Ouattara fighters, shadowy "Invisible Commandos," United Nations peacekeepers and French forces, known by their operation name Licorne and the civilian population.

German artist Stefan Meisal stumbled upon Aboudia's work on Facebook in December and immediately bought two canvases.

"He's a young African artist with an exceptional signature style," said Meisal, who has since become Aboudia's agent and provides him with a monthly stipend and has arranged studio and showroom space.

"The most important thing is for him to be working constantly and to be creative every day," Meisal said.

With Meisal's support, Aboudia's output and profile has increased, along with the prices for his work. Most of his work, which is seen as too avant-garde for local Ivorian tastes, is bought by foreigners.

"They chased me away, told me my work was useless," Aboudia said, referring to local galleries which rejected his work. "I was revolted, but it did not discourage me. I kept going back, sometimes walking all the way across town with tableaus on my head because I had no money for transport."

As daily life slowly returns to normal in the world's leading cocoa producer, Aboudia said he will continue to interpret events as they unfold around him.

"As an artist, my contribution is to tell our story for the next generation. Writers will write, singers will sing. I paint."

Today's News

April 30, 2011

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Brings Together Works by Kollwitz, Beckmann, Dix and Grosz

Vibrant Southeast Asian Modern & Contemporary Art to Be Presented at Christie's Spring Sales in May

Prints, Tapestries and Works on Paper by Marc Chagall Featured at artnet Auctions Sale

Poster Auctions International to Offer More than 500 Lots of Rare, Vintage Posters

Signed Monographs and Portfolios by Contemporary Artists at Swann Galleries' Auction

New Work by German Artist Florian Maier-Aichen on View at 303 Gallery in New York

Galerie Patrick Seguin to Present Set Up of Jean Prouvé Bungalow During Art Basel

Andreas Feininger: Nature and the Architect at the National Gallery of Canada

Capitain Petzel in Berlin Presents "John Hancock", New Works by Artist Sarah Morris

Portrait Gallery Marks the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War with Seven Exhibitions

Former President Bill Clinton's Boyhood Home in Hope Opens Doors as Clinton Museum

French Government Awards Chevalier in Order of Arts and Letters to Richard Rand

Seattle's Picasso Exhibition Generated a $66 Million Economic Impact in Washington State

Ivorian Artist Paints as Bullets Whizz Overhead

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman Announces New Study that Measures the Value of the Performing Arts and Other Arts Sectors

Graffiti Artist's Work Lands Him in Museum and Jail

Ancient Ship Found near Rome

Smithsonian American Art Museum Organizing 2012 Exhibition "The Civil War and American Art"

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Alan Bean's Apollo 12 space memorabilia for auction at Bonhams' annual Space History sale

2.- Former electrician who hid 271 Picasso works found guilty of possessing stolen goods

3.- Museo del Prado brings together for the first time four masterpieces by Van der Weyden

4.- Study by Mexican anthropologist says elites' clash led to Teotihuacan collapse

5.- Classical realist painter Jenness Cortez re-imagines Leonardo's 'Mona Lisa'

6.- National Gallery of Art reunites Rubens' Three Magi for the first time in a century

7.- Adolf Hitler 1912 watercolor still life painting to be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions

8.- Curator at Croatia's Natural History Museum finds Neanderthals were world's first jewellers

9.- 17 tourists killed and 42 wounded as gunmen attack Tunisia's National Bardo Museum

10.- Anish Kapoor presents a series of giant and wildly expressive resin and silicon works

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site