Could you introduce yourself and tell us about your background?

I am a painter and a composer. My music nourishes my paints and my painting nourishes my music. Painting and writing are part of my creative process. I was selling my postcards very young and then I discovered graphics in black and white which bring up to the painting. Today my paintings are shown in several places in Burkina Faso but also in Europe.

Why did you choose this profession?

I started writing and drawing very young. I started to sell my illustrated poems in school to friends. It worked well. I continued my studies to become a sport coach while still painting but after a few years I quit in order to devote myself to painting and music. Why becoming an artist? Because I have things to tell.

Did your family always support you in your choice?

It wasn’t easy to choose an artistic way. When I retired from my government position to turning exclusively to painting and music, my family was a little bit confused and they didn’t understand this decision. I left the family house to prove that I could be an artist and take on my responsibilities. Today everything turns out well but being an artist is not an easy thing.

How would you define yourself? What are the artists that you admire?

At the beginning, I have been influenced by great painters like Caravage who fascinated me especially with the way he uses the light.

African artists influence me too. In my country Art is part of the daily life. It is on our pottery, on the walls, on fabrics. The Tiebele houses’ floors are one of my basic pillars. I have seen them, and used them in my paintings and wall fresco. The African cultural heritage can also be found in the materials that I use (pigment, glue, cardboard) and in my earth colour palette. My African roots also marked my rejection of the figurative art. African art is abstract.

My readings also mark my work. G.Balandier, Franz Fanon, Tobie Nathan, G.Devereux are authors I take inspiration from. Books feed my universe and my questioning of identity, since I have been knowing how to read.

How will you explain your work?

My artworks show my emotions, my thoughts and my crush. They question the African identity, between tradition and modernity, the relationship between Men (and between men and women also). My favourites themes of predilections are the society problematics sur as politics, family relations, love madness, beliefs, and modernity.​

What does inspire you?

Painting is like leaving for an adventure, to travel without knowing where you will arrive.

How are you working?

When I am painting, I start by creating a chaos. I put colours, glue materials, I scratch the canvas, let flow the paint until my eyes opened at the work. That is the way the genius creator reveals the subject.

Then a game of structuring/ restructuring begins. Signs, symbols, calligraphy,’’Warga’’ (a type of writing I have created) come in my graphics lines. Strange creatures and characters are incarnated in graphic lines, disappear, reappear.

What is the most important work in your creations?

They are all important. Each of them is important and is linked to a period of my life. At the moment, I am working on a series of large-format portraits between myth and reality.

Are you in any associations, groups?

I worked with other different artists from all disciplines. I have two ongoing projects with comedian Doueslik and Maimouna N’diaye. I am also a part of Wakao, a clothing brand, which is getting to grow in the coming months.




Promotion de l’Art Africain

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Art Kelen

Art Kelen

Promotion de l’Art Africain

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