Born in 1992 in Abidjan, Carl-Edouard Keïta now lives and works in New York.
A 2021 graduate of the New York Academy of Art, Carl-Edouard Keïta also won the prize for best draughtsman for his graduation work, some of which is presented in this group exhibition.
Carl-Edouard Keïta discovered the history of African art during his economics studies in Atlanta, through a course offered at his university. As he describes it himself, this discovery was a real aesthetic revelation for him. Fascinated by lines, straight or curved, since his childhood, he became passionate about drawing, and was inspired by traditional, modern and contemporary references. From the angular forms of African statuary to the geometric decompositions of cubism, via the Ivorian vohou-vohou, Carl-Edouard Keïta’s influences are numerous and create bridges between eras and continents.
Initially self-taught, then an art student, Carl-Edouard Keïta perfected his mastery of the pencil over the years, attached to the idea that pencil drawing, behind its apparent simplicity, can become the site of a true search for aesthetic sophistication and conceptual complexity. The sobriety of the pencil is synonymous for the artist with freedom. Keïta’s drawings show a great mastery of composition, each work carrying a story, a narrative. The decomposition of the bodies of the represented figures into several geometrically shaped elements can be understood as being mimetic of a movement of unveiling and deconstruction of the subjects addressed in his works, from the visible to the hidden.