Kouadio Atowla

Born 1997 in Ivory Coast Works and lives in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

The artist Atowla Kouadio lives and works in Yopougon, a lively and popular district of Abidjan. The main motifs of his figurative paintings are moments and personal stories of everyday life, which he reinterprets in his works. Atowlas attentive observation of his surroundings results in his paintings that capture spontaneous moments: a look, a posture, a body in motion. His works show a cross-section of society: a laughing woman, business men at work, children playing. The artist also creates portraits of, among others, members of the government of the Ivory Coast, which impressively capture the character of the person portrayed.

Atowla uses a very special painting technique; he applies the paint bonded to the wax with a spatula to the canvas. The composition of the picture follows a constant principle, the background is always only hinted at with large cubes that become increasingly dense in the foreground and allow the subject (e.g. the face, people) to stand out. The semi-abstract, geometrical brushstrokes of the background prompt the immersed, concentrated observation of the painting, whereas his models’ lively postures and facial expression allow to engage with the paintings on a more emotional, even personal level and to gain an intimate insight into the everyday life of the African continent. Africa is an important subject of Atowla’s art, his paintings tell the stories of the people of his neighborhood, of the children of Africa, the African female but they are -- at the same time – universal, as is the importance of the everyday life, that is highlighted in Atowla’s paintings.

The talented young artist, who graduated from ENBA (École Nationale des Beaux-Arts) in Abidjan in 2017, already exhibits a lot locally, for example in the Palais de la Culture.

Biography / CV