Create Hub Gallery is delighted to announce the opening of Children of Africa, a showcase by leading African artist, Armand Boua, on view at the Al Quoz gallery from 17th October – 9th November.
Armand Boua’s powerful depiction of the plight of street children has brought him international acclaim, with his paintings selected by world’s art power houses such as Christie’s, Bonham’s and Saatchi Gallery, and a record-breaking sale of his work in Sotheby’s this May.
“It is a real thrill to showcase an African artist on a stellar rise to global success”, says the gallery’s Managing Director, Lidija Khachatourian, “We are deeply honoured to add Create Hub to the list of esteemed galleries that have exhibited works by Armand Boua. More importantly, his work ties in with our mission to highlight emerging African artists who provide expansive insight into the present-day complexities of their societies”. Create Hub is the only gallery in the Middle East region which is focused on contemporary African Art.
Born in 1978 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where he lives and works, Armand Boua has been heavily influenced by the devastating wars which destroyed his city. Formerly hailed as the Paris of west Africa, Ivory Coast, praised for its economic and democratic stability, was ravaged by two civil wars starting from 2002 and ending a decade later. The artist began to paint portraits of abandoned children in an effort to expose their plight. “I wanted to show their suffering, their way of life”, says Armand about the subjects of his paintings, “so that people are finally aware of this painful reality they pretend not to see”. Even after the end of the war, child abduction for slavery and religious rituals has remained a horrendous issue.
Armand Boua deals with the human condition, as a response to the inhumanity he sees in the world around him. His aesthetic is one born out of an engagement with found material, to which he applies his signature forms that evoke images and scenes in remembrance. His work is recognisable for its layered and textured surface – often using materials that are viscous and hard to manage, such as tar and cardboard. The distressed effect is created by each layer being scrubbed, and then stripped back.
Children of Africa was featured as part of an exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery, and in 2016 Armand Boua was selected by Christie’s as one of the world’s leading emerging artists.