Kouka is an artist born in Paris in 1981. Franco-Congolese, grandson of expressionist painter Francis Gruber, he graduated from the Fine Arts School in Avignon in 2000. He ceaselessly questions his origins, through his paintings and street art. Kouka develops his themes through various forms of portraiture around identity and the essence of human nature.
His work is characterised by expression and spontaneity of gesture, revealing imperfections and drips. His painting plays with the language of graffiti to explore the meaning of the image.
Since his famous "Guerriers Bantus" which is his first urban work, he never fails to remind us that the public space, like the world, belongs to no-one. This is also present in Kouka's faceless silhouettes free of any origins, from the "HLM" series.
Asserting himself through an obsessive focus on the self-portrait, he adds his "Writings" to figurative elements, creating a veil between the artist and the viewer, which is both protective and thought provoking. Sometimes the subject recedes and allows the power of the text to appear. The canvas becomes a white surface where the strength of the words is expressed. Indistinct, inscrutable, enigmatic, the language is not identified anymore. Words becomes symbols, in a return to universality.
>>Video Interview: Kouka, Portrait in Jardin Rouge, 2018.
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