Light reveals the contours and textures of plastic’s various stages. Light rays infiltrate the material's irregularities and give life and movement to this yet artifical matter.
LouiSimone Guirandou Gallery is pleased to present "From Light Comes Matter", a group exhibition featuring Dramane Bamana and Richmond Tehe from December 8, 2022 to January 28, 2023.
Born in 1996 in Bougouni (Mali), Dramane Bamana graduated from the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers Multimédia. He lives and works in Bamako (Mali) and is an active member of the Tim'Art collective. Richmond Tehe was born in Zorofla (Ivory Coast) in 1997. He graduated from l’Ecole nationale des Beaux-Arts of Abidjan in 2022 (Master II, option Painting). He lives and works in Bassam, near Abidjan (Ivory Coast).
The two artists highlight the potential of the plastic material and its invasive nature. This synthetic material first takes its name from the ability to model and the beauty of shapes. The richness of plastic comes from its infinite and varied properties: from shimmering colors to transparency, from softness to strength, from delicacy to resistance. Dramane Bamana and Richmond Tehe explore this potential as far as turning the material into the subject of their works. They confront it with the wear and tear of time or fire, so many elements with uncertain effects that remind the artist that the material is beyond his control as much as he masters it.
Light reveals the contours and textures of plastic’s various stages. Light rays infiltrate the material's irregularities and give life and movement to this yet artifical matter. Thus, the drawn characters seem to be moving and evolving with time, according to the rhythm of light and shade.
Dramane Bamana represents genre scenes from collected plastic. By recycling it, the artist makes himself the spokesman for the struggle against unhealthy conditions caused by plastic pollution. The paradox is that burning plastic is apparently a way to get rid of pollution, but actually degrades the atmosphere's quality. In his paintings, Dramane also exposes this material to fire, and thus manifests the pain generated by this vicious cycle which the population cannot escape from.
But Dramane Bamana also carries a message of hope, which can be seen in the background, through the thin wire mesh revealed by melted plastic. This flexible grid acts as a strong base for the material and symbolizes the fraternal bond between the community members. Their life is represented through daily scenes that are first photographed and then translated by the artist onto the canvas. Dramane praises the humility and the brotherhood that unite the community against adversity and his faceless characters give these neighborhood scenes a universal scope. The artist thus invites us to explore the peaceful universe of an ordinary daily life that everyone can relate to.
Richmond Tehe lets his drawing's framework appear without revealing its secret. Far from hiding its guidelines, he underlines his gesture through hatching. With Richmond, the line is not only the hidden foundation of the drawing, but also the purpose of his artistic identity. His tangled lines seem to weave a hostile and fascinating nest, in which appears a portrait. Within this fragile balance, each line threatens to disrupt the expression of these faces and their sharp eyes, which are portraits of his feelings.
In his « Fragility » series, Richmond works with plastic mats, a woven and colored surface where the community gathers, meets or rests. The artist invests the mat and appropriates its aesthetic by blending the lines of the faces with the colors of the weave. He then exposes his drawing to the free flames that transform the plastic material. Richmond meticulously directs the burning around his drawing until it becomes a fine synthetic lace that uncovers the wooden support. The canvas is then slashed and incised, to reveal the layers under these apparently unstructured portraits. From this uncertain but close contact with the matter comes a great fragility, a vulnerability that the inquisitive gaze of his characters also seems to read inside us.