Ouattara Watts, « Before Looking at this Work, Listen to It »

Ouattara Watts (born in 1957 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire) lives and works in New York, USA.

From the late 1980s onwards, his abstract pictorial practice in large formats, first spotted by Jean-Michel Basquiat, was exhibited in Europe at the Documenta in Kassel and the Venice Biennale, and overseas at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, MoMA PS1, the New Museum in New York, as well as at the Whitney Biennial. 

IMAGINE PEACE, 2018, technique mixte sur toile / mixed media on canvas, 264 x 246 cm © Ouattara Watts, Courtesy Galerie Cécile Fakhoury
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MATRIX #(0),
2003, technique mixte sur toile / mixed media on canvas, 305 x 274 cm © Ouattara Watts, Courtesy Galerie Cécile Fakhoury

With strong colours, dynamic forms and hypnotic ideograms, Ouattara Watts’ multi-media painting explores fantasized human and spiritual connections, and transcends geographies and nationalities in order to move towards the universal. 

“My vision is not related to a country or a continent; it transcends borders and everything that can be seen on a map. While I use identifiable elements to be better understood, this is a project that goes far beyond that. It’s the cosmos I paint.” 

Ouattara Watts
african-art-basquiat-ouattara-watts
FLASH OF SHANGO, 2002-2018, technique mixte sur toile /mixed media on canvas, 300 x 418 cm IMAGINE PEACE, 2018, Mixed Media, 264 x 246 cm. © Ouattara Watts, Courtesy Galerie Cécile Fakhoury
AFRICAN BEATS, 2018, technique mixte sur toile / mixed media on canvas, 205 x 214 cm © Ouattara Watts, Courtesy Galerie Cécile Fakhoury
AFRICAN BEATS, 2018, technique mixte sur toile / mixed media on canvas, 205 x 214 cm © Ouattara Watts, Courtesy Galerie Cécile Fakhoury

By merging images and found objects, photographic photographs or raw materials, Ouattara Watts sublimates the concept of multiculturalism and gives us different levels of understanding of the world, socially and historically. Imbued with lyricism and wit, his art combines dream worlds and magical visions linked to our ancestors in order to show the metaphysical relationships that exist between beings. 

Cécile Fakhoury Gallery represents the artist in Africa.

Solo and group exhibitions and collections (selection): 

  • “Africa, artists of yesterday and today” Fondation Clément, Le François (Martinique), 2018
  • “The Juices of Times” (with Jems Robert Koko Bi) Pavilion of Côte d’Ivoire, 57th Biennale of Venice (Italy), 2017
  • “Ouattara Watts: The Project Room “ FIAF (French Institute Alliance Française), New York (United States), 2012 

Ouattara Watts, “Before Looking at this Work, Listen to It”

From 23 November 2018 to 26 January 2019, Galerie Cécile Fakhoury in Abidjan is presenting the first monographic exhibition of Ouattara Watts in Côte d’Ivoire. On this occasion, the gallery is publishing a catalogue of his work. A retrospective of the artist also takes place at La Rotonde des Arts Contemporains in Abidjan

Galerie Cécile Fakhoury
www.cecilefakhoury.com
Abidjan – Dakar – Paris
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