Aboudia - Asteroid B-612 Online Auction: Inspired by a Saint-Exupéry Novel Hong Kong Tuesday, December 7, 2021 | Phillips

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  • The little prince said, “Children understand.”

    — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

  • Catalogue Essay

    “The place of children in my work is very important, in that it is these children I love the most, who inspire me, and who are at the forefront of what I create. Our vision of the world is positive: of a world without war, without children on the streets, without children mistreated, a world for children who are happy, joyful, educated and in good health.” — Aboudia 


    Known for his graffiti inspired canvases depicting children, Aboudia repurposes found materials from the urban streets of Abidjan, where he was born in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. Using cardboard, charcoal, fragments of magazine ads, or newspapers—Aboudia transposes Nouchi, the colloquial language of the Ivory Coast that is a mixture of several Ivorian languages and French, onto his canvases, bringing street culture, voodoo iconography, and wood carvings from West Africa into dialogue with each other, showcasing his distinctive approach to figuration.


    Though Aboudia’s spontaneous, loose and dynamic style is rooted firmly in the street style of Abidjan, his visual language is able to translate to audiences internationally. The urban characteristics in his works recall iconic paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat, whilst his graphic approach to figurarion and textured surfaces share similarities with Jean Dubuffet’s works.


    In December 2010, whilst other artists fled Abidjan during the conflict that followed Ivory Coast’s presidential elections, Aboudia stayed in his studio, painting what he saw on the streets as bullets whizzed through the air. He picked materials out of rubbish bins and off the pavement, and incorporated this with a gestural application of media that powerfully articulates the harsh reality the artist has witnessed. Since then, Aboudia’s reality-grounded, hauntingly moving paintings have garnered international attention, yet he insists that he is not a war painter: 'I was simply describing a situation, to create a record of my country’s recent history. Artists, writers, filmmakers are spokespersons for an entire nation, their nation, and the world.' This socially motivated aspect of his practice is reflected in Aboudia’s establishment of a foundation in Bingerville, Côte d’Ivoire that seeks to provide children access to healthcare and art.


    "I want to try to transform the bad into good and sadness into happiness. The streets are my world, and I wish to make the world better through my paintings." — Aboudia

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner



signed, dated and inscribed 'ABOUDIA 20 05 2012 NJ' on the reverse
mixed media on canvas
100.6 x 75 cm. (39 5/8 x 29 1/2 in.)
Executed 20 May 2012.

Full Cataloguing

HK$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for HK$819,000

Contact Specialist

Hin Hin Wong
Associate Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong
+852 2318 2013
[email protected]

Asteroid B-612 Online Auction: Inspired by a Saint-Exupéry Novel

Online Auction 7-14 December 2021