Art Twenty One is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Ivorian artist, Aboudia, entitled Chap Chap, in collaboration with Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan. This exhibition follows the artist’s continued interest in exploring the urbanity of Abidjan’s cityscape and the culture of the “Nouchi”, a pidgin language that emerged in the Ivory Coast in the early 1980s.

Aboudia is best known for expressive paintings executed in a spontaneous manner akin to street art and graffiti. As a social commentator, Aboudia’s works explore his experiences as a cosmopolitan artist as he moves between spaces and cultures. Included in this exhibition are the artist’s iconic large scale canvases, depicting amorphous characters and visages.

Executed in a simplistic yet emotional manner, the figures are created with crude brush strokes, protruded facial features and elemental forms.

The exhibition also includes mixed media works, appropriating photographic images from magazines and newspapers. Layered with marks, sketches and texts, these works depict diverse cultural references, spanning the historical archive, the tradition of masks and wood sculpture.

Aboudia compares this cross-reference of styles to the organic formation of the “Nouchi” dialect in Ivory Coast, a mix between the French language and several local languages.

The overlapping planes of images, symbols and paint create an ambiguous visual imaginary, highlighting the complex relationship between tradition and modernity that defines the ethos of the “Nouchi” culture.

As a malleable language, one must keep up with the newest expressions and trends of the Nouchis, as the language constantly develops, which spans popular culture and music. The exhibition title, Chap Chap, meaning “fast” or “rapid” in Nouchi, reflects the fast-paced environment and wired connectivity of a globalised culture.