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Aboudia, Untitled
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Aboudia (Ivorian, b. 1983)

Untitled (2011)

Acrylic and Collage on Canvas

Aboudia is an artist from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, whose practice is inspired by the vernacular visual language of the street culture found in his hometown.

Untitled is a painting in which many of his signature gestures are combined to produce a humorous and yet mystical portrait. A young girl with a mischievous smile stands at the center of the composition, surrounded by abstracted drawings of stick figures in vehicles as well as a blue cat, a green face, and the numbers “05.”

The playful juxtaposition of these elements, along with the artist’s signature hovering over the central figure, evokes the aesthetics of graffiti paintings, while the collaged, scratched surface as well as the thick layers of paint at the center of the canvas reinforce the painting as an experiment in painterly form. In so doing, Aboudia’s work is contextualized by the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, who similarly blended aspects of quotidian street culture into discourses on contemporary painting.