Obou Gbais

Obou Gbais born in Guiglo and raised in Abidjan, is an Ivorian artist whose work explores the themes of his present, his identity and the traditions of the Ivorian community, particularly the Dan. He graduated from the Beaux-Arts in Abidjan in 2019 and has been living between Abidjan and Berlin ever since. A central element in Obou's work is the human circumstances of his surroundings. He stages figures with dan masks wearing striking facial expressions - sometimes humorous,sometimes provocative - and creates a kind of poetry by reflecting social realities. His artistic approach is characterized by are appropriation of his own culture and personal history. This allows him not only to question the evolution of human beings in society, but also to redefine the meaning of the mask, which was once an important element of stability and well-being within the community.

Obou has presented his work at a variety of venues and events. These included events such as the Scope Art Show in Miami, exhibitions in Switzerland, France and New York. In addition to these international exhibitions, Obou also presented his work in Abidjan during his solo show "Man Dan" at LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery. He also exhibited in Paris with 193 Gallery "Babi est doux", in Dakar during the Biennale Of at Loman Art Gallery and his exhibition "Le Bleu d'Obou" at Hoop Galerie. In 2022, he also presented his work at the Vytautas Kasiulis Museum of Art in Vilnius.

In 2023, Obou took part in the group show "Ambivalent" at Berlin's Notagallery. He was also selected to take part in the "Look Closer" exhibition at the Rietberg Museum, where he presented a Dan mask sculpture based on the museum's photographic archives. In 2024, he presented two solo exhibitions, "Neo Dan" at LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery in Abidjan and "The garden of Obou" at Hoop Galerie in Paris.

About the Collection in the Current Exhibition:

In the Audacity Dan series, Obou Gbais presents a visualization of the depth of the human soul, emphasizing the communicative power of facial expressions and establishing a profound connection with viewers. His work presents a blended illustration of his own traditions, cultural heritage,and personal history with modern aesthetics. In this series, Obou draws inspiration from Dan culture, an ethnic group in the Ivory Coast that has a strong farming culture. 

The exhibited triptych is vibrant and radiant, with light, joyful faces that stand in stark contrast to his earlier works depicting the devastation of war. His painting style has evolved over time, and this particular series, created during his wife's pregnancy, reflects a period of glory and happiness.

Selected Works

Audacity Dan Bronze Audacity Dan Bronze
Obou GbaisAudacity Dan Bronze
Sale price€10.000,00
Audacity Dan Gold Audacity Dan Gold
Obou GbaisAudacity Dan Gold
Sale price€10.000,00
Audacity Dan Silver Audacity Dan Silver
Obou GbaisAudacity Dan Silver
Sale price€10.000,00