Volta New York 2022


Ethan Cohen Gallery is pleased to be exhibiting at Volta New York 2022 featuring Aboudia, Armand Boua, Catheris Mondombo, exonemo, Gonçalo Mabunda, Jeffery Hargrave, and Thomas Deininger.



1983 born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Aboudia's multi-layered paintings offer simultaneityof images and meanings that conduct a continuous discourse with each other and with the viewer. In any glance the eye takes in one or other layer, which is soon overcome by the next. We are aware of the vivid, brutal pageant of contemporary Africa weaving before us like a fabric of consciousness -soldiers, skulls, African fetishes, flashes of street life - expressed with vitality. The surfaces deploy fragments, cuttings, from bits of comic strips, magazine ads, newspaper images, set into the paintings' overall compositions so as to suggest current events cohering through the imagination into a troubled and troubling vision. 



Lives and works in Abidjan, Ivory Coast Born in 1978, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Armand Boua deals with the human condition, as a response to the inhumanity he sees in the world around him. His works, depicting the formless figures of forgotten children, testify to the violence that continues to characterize the political struggles of West Africa. His aesthetic is one born out of an engagement with found material, to which he applies his signature forms that evoke images and scenes in remembrance. Working in Abidjan, the economic capital at the crossroads of urbanization and industrialization, Boua experiences the Ivorian landscape with a heightened sensitivity. His observations of children are drawn largely from street scenes where urban migrations create ethnic, linguistic, cultural and social entanglements that have come to enrich and problematize the region in equal measure. 



Catheris Mondombo creates haunted, powerful Congolese portraits with the fusion of found art and highly evocative painterly composition. He paints on canvases of stitched-together workaday fabrics such as discarded tarpaulin detritus left behind by Kinshasha's ubiquitous market stalls. They are pieces of the city that seem to articulate their own human images as if the artist is merely acting as medium to hidden forces. On such weathered, bruised backgrounds, the products of coarse utility, he imbues faces that life has textured with comparable struggle for survival. The used, abandoned and recovered plastic-coated sheeting is eloquent of abandonment as an existential condition, redeemed by the determination to repair, renew and recreate. 



Formed in 1996. Art unit by AKAIWA Yae and SEMBO Kensuke based in exonemo.com. Crossing over freely between digital and analog, the world of computer network and the real world, they reveal the relationship between technology and its users. They work on many experimental projects that create humorous and innovative artworks, depicting the effects of digital media on modern society. "The Road Movie" won the Golden Nica for Net Vision category at Prix Ars Electronica 2006. They started Internet secret society named "IDPW" in 2012 and organized the event “Internet Yami-Ichi (Black Market)”. They live and work in New York since 2015. 



1975 Born in Maputo, Mozambique

Living and working in Maputo, Mozambique

Goncalo Mabunda’s works evoke the collective memory of his country Mozambique, which had lived through a devastating civil war, and the residual bric-a-brac of war are the found objects that he recycles as his medium of expression. He embarked on gathering shards of national memory in the form of discarded weapons fragments, piecing them together into sculptures. Out of that he forged a fantastical iconography derived from African fetish traditions rendered in rusting steel. He welds together menacing instruments of death, bullets, pistols, parts of Kalashnikovs, into disarming objects, deceptively esthetic, fused to suggest a multiplicity of meanings, not least to suggest alternate uses, and indeed alternate visions of how his culture might have otherwise employed itself with ambient materials. By giving anthropomorphic forms to the objects, he not only ironically comments on the absurdity of violence that had divided his country for a long period, but also positively reflects on the resilience of African civilians through the transformative power of art. 



1973 born in Salisbury, N.C

Jeffrey Hargrave is a North Carolina born,African-American artist based in New York. Hargrave deals with representations of African-Americans, often putting them in the context of art history, remaking works by artists such as Matisse to include black figures, with racially charged stereotypical imagery. 



1970 Born in Boston, MA
Lives and works in Rhode Island

Thomas Deininger is a Rhode Island based artist whose work combines environmental concerns with an innovative approach to image making. His found object assemblages are constructed from non-recyclable, non-biodegradable materials that pile up in our nation’s landfills. Works like this provide a thoughtful response to mass consumerism. He asks the viewer to reconsider the potential for transcendence of the mundane.