Obou Gbais | Artist Overview

Obou Gbais

b.1992, Ivorian

Born in Guiglo (Ivory Coast) in 1992, Obou Gbais graduates from l’Ecole nationale des Beaux-arts d’Abidjan en 2014 (Master II, option Painting). He lives and works between Berlin and Abidjan. The Mask Dan is emblematic of western traditions of Ivory Coast, where Obou is from. He paints this Mask as much as he wears it. Those faces with long chins and almond-shaped eyes, represented in crowd scenes or portraits, are his Trademark, his Artistic Identity. With Obou, it’s about of the effervescent ambiance and vitality of neighborhoods of the city. His familiar touch is omnipresent on building facades, along the road or more discreetly in abandoned villas of Bassam. Obou Gbais wants to be the spokesperson of a younger generation who is trying to reconcile two different worlds: connected, abundant, urban life and the traditional foundations of rural natives. With his First solo show, Obou confirms his anchoring with his native land and offers to fuse different cultural and European influences that he relates to, as well as he adapts them. He depicts his art as a bridge between two worlds, the confrontation of which reveals both strong links and mutual ignorance.