Three Questions for Pascal Konan

Pascal, how did you experience confinement in Côte d’Ivoire?
An artist usually needs to self-confine to work, but this confinement was different as the pandemic forced it upon us, and for an unlimited time.
Inspiration needs to be nurtured and there it was suddenly suspended, suddenly halted because I was cut off from the rest of the world. So, this was kind of depressing, and challenging. Confinement had one positive aspect though…it allowed me to spend more quality time with my family.
You mentioned “inspiration”. What fuels your work?
The street – the street is my source of inspiration. The street reflects the rigor, the soul, the spirit, the emotions of a country. I grew up in a “precarious,” disadvantaged neighborhood of Abidjan’s suburbs, where everything happened in the street. The good and the not so good. The street never sleeps; it is busy 24 hours a day. There, you may have life-changing encounters.
Streets are like the arteries in the body… They are connected and they keep it alive. So, for me, this source of inspiration leads to others as well.
You are energized by the street life around you but you self-confine when you work. How do you explain that?
When creating, there is this conceptual need to engage with and question the work, to understand it, to penetrate it, to weigh the functionality of every stroke, of every color. And for this, I need to be alone.
That said, I like a presence, and this presence can be music on the radio, or something funny, or the news… I am disconnected and connected at the same time.
Pascal, thank you. We can’t wait to discover the new series of paintings you are working on!