ARTICLE TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH
1:54 Art African Art Fair - 10 African artists to collect.
Who are the 10 African artists to collect?
The fair of contemporary African art 1/54 in Marrakech has just closed its doors, we were there, and we'll tell you.
Aboudia, the star among African artists
If we only had to keep one, it would be Aboudia.
This son of a modest family from Abengourou, a large eastern city near Ghana, trained in art schools in Abidjan, was revealed in the Ivorian economic capital thanks to a first exhibition in 2007.
His nascent success, the young Ivorian painter Aboudia owes to impressive paintings on the battle of Abidjan in 2011, full of noise and fury. But he admits he owes his inspiration to "the lives of children who hang out in the streets".
Bodies tortured, civilians terrified and calling for help, tanks of UN soldiers attacked by a hostile crowd, and everywhere the same chaos under a dark sky: Aboudia's paintings redraw the episodes of the Ivorian political-military crisis of December 2010-April 2011, which ended with ten days of battle in Abidjan and left some 3,000 dead.
These paintings strike by their often large dimensions (up to two meters by four), and especially by their colorful, wild and childish style, which contrasts with the quiet and relaxed pace of this young painter of 33 years.
Kassou Seydoux is a visual artist born in 1971 in Ziguinchor in the south of Senega, he lives and works in Dakar. Engaged in the human and African cause, he is sensitive to the family that constitute the human race, the peoples of all continents. His achievements are the fruit of a courageous learning and sharing of artistic techniques and values. Starting from the observation that everything is writing and that writing is a distorted line, he conceptualizes it by regular forms applied to his paintings.
Nu Barréto was born in 1966 in Sao Domingos, Guinea-Bissau, he lives and works in Paris. His work highlights the endemic social disparities on the African continent. Through dry techniques, collages, reconstituted materials and new techniques, Barreto expresses in his work a strong symbolism by form, colors and patterns. He frequently uses the so-called "funguli" color, an ash-gray color often used in reference to poor people in Guinea-Bissau. Barreto began to use this color in order to reverse its negative connotation and highlight the reality of the social and economic possessed.
Hicham Behoud was born in 1968 in Marrakech. He lives and works in Marrakech and Casablanca. The art of Hicham Benohoud is rooted in the culture and societal structures of Morocco, exploring the notions of individual and collective identity. Benhoud began his artistic journey with the self-portrait, a medium that he continues to use and then expanded his current practice. Benohoud began his artistic journey with the self-portrait, a medium he continues to use, and then expanded his current practice to incorporate new media and mixed media. Humor, surrealism, performativity and self-deprecation, staged in unexpected fashions, are recurring elements of his work. His works are in the permanent collections of institutions such as Tate Modern in London and the Pompidou Center in Paris.
Mahi Binebine was born in 1959 in Marrakech, Morocco. He lives and works in Marrakech. The sculptural and two-dimensional works of Mahi Binebine are deeply influenced by his childhood in Morocco, especially the rich shades of red and blue which he was surrounded as a child. Color, although used with great restraint, is of great significance to Binebine, who frequently uses blue to represent liberation and transcendence. His use of lines, whether to define the human form, scarify the body or evoke writing is omnipresent. These strongly defined lines also evoke a form of constraint and the desire to free themselves. His works are preserved in many collections, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museum of Marrakech.
He was born in 1969 in Dakar, Senegal. The art of Soly Cissé is deeply marked by the concern for the human condition. Through painting and sculpture, he explores the connection between humanity and nature, tradition and modernity, spiritual and secular. Cisse's works often portray conflict and man's ability to transcend difficult socio-political, economic, and spiritual situations. Much of his most recent work tends to evolve into notions of healing and repair. Between expressive and spontaneous lines, shapes and colors, his compositions are imbued with visceral energy and dynamism.
Slimen El Kamel
Slimen El Kamel was born in 1983 in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. He lives and travails in Tunis. Slimen El Kamel grew up in a rural environment bathed in rich traditions of storytelling, poetry and literature. These formative years played a significant role in the influence of his art and his interest in poetic and literary texts, the stories collected, as well as the realities lived and imagined. In his most recent works, he explores the links between the human body and everyday objects from the consumer society and popular culture. Through figurative, symbolic and abstract forms, it generates both a narrative that takes place on the canvas and a subtle critique of the effects of mass culture on traditional lifestyles.
Ibrahim El-Salahi was born in 1930 in Omdurman, Sudan. He lives and works in Oxford. Ibrahim El-Salahi's career spans more than five decades and is characterized by rigorous experimentation within the framework of modernist phraseology. Although his work has undergone a stylistic evolution over time, a real global platform combining emotion and structure. Regarded as one of the most important figures of African and Arab modernism, his work is deeply imbued with spirituality and reflection, with a strong focus on social and political injustices. In 2013, the first exhibition of the Tate Modern consecrated to African modernism recounted the life and work of El-Salahi, and gathered a hundred works of his entire career. His works are held in collections of the following museums: the Museum of Modern Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; The Tate; the British Museum in London, the National Museum of African Art.
Cheri Samba was born in 1956 in Kinto M'Vuila, Democratic Republic of Congo. He lives and works in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. In 1972, Chéri Samba went to school to begin an apprenticeship with the painters of signs of the Avenue Kasa-Vubu, in Kinshasa.
From this circle of artists - Moke, Cheik Ledy, among others, emerged a prolific school of popular painting. A professional painter of billboards and comic artist, Samba drew on the conventions of both genres, resorting to painting on burlap when the painter's canvas was unapproachable. Samba's compositions reveal his acute perception of the social, political, economic and cultural realities of the Democratic Republic of Congo and reveal intimate aspects of daily life in Kinshasa. His paintings are an incessant commentary on popular customs, sexuality, health, social inequality and corruption. Among the exhibitions of Samba, we note Art / Africa: the new workshop, Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris; Essential Landscape,
Thierry Oussou was born in 1988 in Allada, Benin, he lives and works in Allada and Amsterdam. Thierry Oussous describes his current practice as a social archeology, exploring the relationship between contemporary art and ethnographic objects. Through paintings and drawing facilities, he recounts questions of authenticity and visibility in the context of heritage and archeology. In 2011, Oussou founded the art studio Yè, and continues to lead art and visual culture workshops in institutions throughout Benin.
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Image: Soly Cissé Capture d’écran 2018 Collage, acrylic and ink on paper. Courtesey Soly Cissé