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Aboudia Abdoulaye Diarrassouba, known as Aboudia, sees himself as a chronicler of the streets of his city of Abidjan, and, especially, the scores of disadvantaged children who populate them. In his large-scale, vibrant mixed-media paintings and drawings, which recall those of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

He draws from the aesthetics of graffiti and traditional African carvings to depict the youth he engages with regularly in the city’s toughest neighborhoods, and, more recently, the violent post-election conflict that ravaged Abidjan in 2011.

“My work is similar to that of a journalist writing an article: I was simply describing a situation, in order to create a record of my country’s recent history,” claims Aboudia “I’m an ambassador of the children—they do writings on the walls, their wishes, their fears, I’m doing the same on my canvas. I’m like a megaphone for these children.”

Aboudia live and work in Abidjan

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