Armand Boua takes the street children of his hometown Abidjan as subjects for his portraits: ‘I wanted to show their suffering, their way of life’, he says, ‘so that people are finally aware of this painful reality they pretend not to see’. The artist is noted for his textured and layered compositions, using tar and acrylic on found cardboard boxes. Each layer is applied and then scrubbed and stripped back, leaving abstract forms that come in and out of focus. By recycling the cardboard boxes used as makeshift shelters by street dwellers, Boua’s use of found materials demonstrates his strong engagement with his local environment. Both mute and subtle, his works maintain a careful balance between heavy gestures and violent execution and the gentle treatment of his subject matter.
Boua’s works have been acquired by the Saatchi Gallery in London, UK; the Franks-Suss Collection in Hong Kong, China; and the Tiroche DeLeon Collection in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel. His work was included in Pangaea II: New Art From Africa and Latin America at the Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2015).