Guei Zinahin

Born 1981 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast Lives and works in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

The artist Guei Zinahin was born and grew up in Abidjan. Already at the beginning of his career the talented artist won national and international art competitions (Amnesty International, Green CROSS, Coca-Cola). In 2007 he graduated from ENBA (École Nationale des Beaux-Arts) in Abidjan and regularly exhibits his work locally and internationally, for example at the Institut Francais.

Central themes in his works are family and traditional African culture. The artist also incorporates everyday materials into his works, such as newspaper cuttings and the typically African woven fabric. Here, the artist skillfully combines tradition with modernity and in this way pays tribute to the cultural heritage. One of the prominent subjects of Zinahin’s later works is urban scenery. He departs from the traditional image of rural Africa and instead portraits cities, streets and squares, which constitute an important part of the region's social and cultural landscape. In his paintings, he manages to capture the stillness and emptiness that can rarely be felt on the busy streets and that is so hard to depict.

The recent “Série Bleu” designed for this exhibition, depicts the urban life in the metropolis of Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d'Ivoire, which is also called “Little Manhattan of Africa”, due to its modern architecture and large number of skyscrapers. The works question the creative power of humans, the anonymity of humanity, as well as the gap between modernity and tradition, which clashes in the big cities of Africa.

Biography / CV