Boua, Armand

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Armand Boua, born 1978 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

He lives and works in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

National School of Fine Arts, Abidjan, CI
Technical Center of Applied Arts, Abidjan, CI
Ste Mary Training Institute, Abidjan, CI
Museum of Civilization, Abidjan, CI
Armand Boua illustrates his works based on the lives of street kids who testify to the violence and political struggles in West Africa. He wants to show the lives of these street children in a way that not so many people can relate to. Working in Abidjan, the economic capital at the crossroads of urbanisation and industrialisation, Boua experiences the Ivorian landscape with heightened sensitivity. His observations of children are drawn largely from street scenes where urban migrations create ethnic, linguistic, cultural and social entanglements that have come to enrich and problematize the region in equal measure. Children abduction in Ivory Coast remains a chilling real issue with myths of human sacrifices and other rituals fulling the market for organs of the young, who also fall victim to sex trafficking, illegal adoption rings and plantation labour.

Boua’s subjects could be victims of such exploitation, or symbols of hope and innocence. The severity of this crisis foreshadows the practice of the street-based artist, who sees the atrocities of man echoed in everyday life and gives them shape through painting and emotive movements. Having studied in the National School of Fine Arts and the Technical Centre for Applied Arts both in Abidjan, he immersed himself deeply in the artistic world, depicting the real issues of the young volatile children. His principle is one born out of an engagement with found material, to which he applies his signature forms that invoke images and scenes in remembrance. Boua is noted for his textured and layered compositions, using tar and acrylic on found cardboard boxes. Each layer is applied and then scrubbed and stripped back, leaving abstract forms that come in and out of focus. He achieves a careful balance between his heavy gestures and violent execution and the gentle treatment of his subject matter.

When it comes to his paintings, Armand describes the plight of his subjects: “I wanted to show their suffering, their way of life, so that people are finally aware of this painful reality they pretend not to see.”

His work has been exhibited in Pangaea II: New Art From Africa and Latin America at Saatchi Gallery (London, UK).
Solo Exhibitions
2019 Cape Town Art Fair, LKB/G, Cape Town, ZA
2018 Brobrosseurs, Cecile Fakhoury, Abidjan, CI
2018 Dans Le Djassa, LKB/G, Hamburg, DE
2018 Mogo de Poy-City, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK
2017 Children of Africa, AKKA Project, Dubai, AE
2017 Clache Moi, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK
2016 Forgotten People, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, US
2016 Les zinzins, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK
2015 Djossi a Yopougon, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK
2014 Enfants de la rue, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK

Selected Group Exhibitions
2019 Kubatana, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratrium, Vestfossen, NO
2018 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London, UK
2018 1718, LKB/G, Hamburg, DE
2018 Rassemblement, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK
2018 Talisman In The Age Of Difference, Stephen Friedman, London, UK
2018 Artistic Surgery for Broken Faces, PIASA, Paris, FR
2017 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London, UK
2017 Devil in disguise, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK
2016 VOLTA, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, US
2016 Art Miami, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, Miami, US
2016 Le penseur, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK
2015 FLAUNT: Africa New Wave, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, US
2015 Past Perfect / Future Present, Christie’s Curate, London, UK
2015 Studio Lumiere, Jack Bell Gallery, London, UK
2015 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, New York, US
2015 PANGAEA II: New Art from Africa - Latin America, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
2014 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London, UK
2013 Art and Nature, 4th Edition, Katadji, CI
2012 Un regard sur Abidjan, Société EIFFAGE, SN
2010 1st Edition of Salon International des Arts Plastiques, Abidjan, CI
2010 9th Edition of DAK’ART, Biennale of Contemporary African Art, Dakar, SN
2010 4th Edition of Festival d’Essaouira, MA
2007 1st Edition of Brush of Africa, Stockholm, SE
2007 1st Edition of Festival des Arts Visuels, Abidjan, CI

Collections (selection)
Saatchi Gallery, UK
The Franks-Suss Collection, HK
Tiroche DeLeon Collection, IL
Minneapolis Institute of Art, US

Sotheby’s: Modern and Contemporary African Art, London, UK
Christie’s: Contemporary African Art, London, UK
PIASA: African Contemporary Art + Design, Paris, FR
AMREF Health Africa. Artball: Contemporary African, New York, US