Kouka is a Franco-Congolese painter, born in Paris in 1981. Grandson of the expressionist painter Francis Gruber, he graduated from the School of Fine Arts in 2000. He never ceases to confront his origins, on his canvases as in the street. Using different forms of portraiture, Kouka develops his research themes around the essence of Man and Identity.
His work is characterized by the expressiveness and spontaneity of the gesture, voluntarily revealing imperfections, inaccuracies and drips. His painting plays with graffiti codes to better touch the heart of his search on the status of the image.
Since his famous "Bantu Warriors" who marked his first singular urban imprint, he never ceased to recall that public space, like the world, does not belong to anyone.
Asserting himself with an almost obsessive work on the portrait, he creates a veil between the face of the artist and the spectator who becomes protection and vector of thought. Sometimes the figure disappears to make room for writing and its power. The work becomes a white surface where only the strength of words is expressed. Indistinct, indecipherable, enigmatic, language is no longer identified, words change into symbols like a return to universality.
Nadège Buffe (Galerie Taglialatella)
2016: Installation on Goree Island for the contemporary Art Biennal Dak'Art (Senegal)