- medium Acrylic and Spray Paint on Found Paper
- edition 1
- size 19.50w x 27.50h in
- created 2022
COA: This work comes with a certificate of authenticity from West Chelsea Contemporary.
Aboudia’s distinctive style, which has drawn comparisons with the iconic work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, finds inspiration in the collision of the graffiti culture of Abidjan and the traditional wood carvings of West Africa. Aboudia calls this style ‘nouchi’, a reference to the slang spoken in the streets of Abidjan, which is a hybrid of Ivorian and French vocabulary. Since the 2011 Ivorian civil war, the artist’s urban landscapes have been haunted by trauma; armed soldiers, ominous skulls, and a populace hemmed in by danger. Recent work continues to grapple with the hardships of daily life, and the social inequalities of the downtown environment. Through his work, Aboudia regularly returns to the subject of childhood and childlike innocence as a narrative voice for society.
Often claustrophobic and oppressive, his paintings achieve a careful balance between pathos and aggression. While much of his recurring imagery speaks to unthinkable brutality, Aboudia’s bright color palettes reinforce the enduring innocence of the children who live amid the chaos. Aboudia is particularly interested in the link between these marginalized children and graffiti as a mode of communication, which allows them to “express what [is] deep within them.” Much like the murals created by the street kids he portrays, Aboudia’s own works often incorporate found materials such as newspapers and magazine cut-outs to create his heavily layered canvases mixing collage, acrylic paint, and oil stick. “I pick them up from the street,” he says. “Out of rubbish bins, off the pavement. I use cardboard, charcoal and pencil, to reflect the reality of these children. They draw their dreams using chalk and charcoal and anything else they can find.”