Pascal Konan: Artist Resume

While Konan grew up in harsh living conditions in Mossikro, a slum in Abidjan, he fondly remembers a happy childhood and a supportive environment where he could cultivate his gift for drawing and his passion for astronomy.

Both of his parents had a deep appreciation for the arts, and Konan’s home was filled with instrumental and vocal music. His father was a cabinet maker and an evangelist, and his mother, a cantor in their church. Every Sunday, they visited villages where his father preached and his mother sang, accompanied by a traditional orchestra…little Pascal carried the drum. 

Despite their modest means and a family of 9, after noticing that Konan loved to draw, his father made sure he could spend every vacation with a local artist - named BP Konan! There he learned to materialize - with a brush on paper instead of twigs on dirt - what he saw and imagined. 

When, on his first day of Sunday School, the teacher depicted Creation with drawings on the blackboard, Konan was able to visualize at once the universe. Fascinated, he started watching sci-fi movies such as Grandizer (or “Goldorak” in its French version). Seeing people fly into space and come back triggered in him the wish to discover beyond what he could see, and to become an astronaut. This deeply-held dream shattered a few years later when he was told that it was impossible to study astronomy in Côte d’Ivoire. Although his teachers thought he would still embrace a scientific career, Konan opted instead for the Art High School of Abidjan - if he couldn’t travel in space for real, he would travel in his imagination and represent what he experienced. 

Konan’s fascination for the world - above and beyond, the seen and the unseen - is as vivid as ever today and permeates his work. Konan credits a large part of his artistic process to his precarious childhood. From a very young age, he was in “survival” mode - which he defines as “finding the means in one’s environment to reach one’s objectives.” Since kids like him did not receive presents, ride the merry-go-round, or wear new clothes, they gave a second life to what they found around them: they recycled and repurposed, taking apart and assembling broken bits to build their own toys. It was through these early experiences that Konan honed his curiosity, intuition, and fine motor skills – which would become the basis for his art education at the Art High School and the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts - INSAAC) in Abidjan, where he is a professor today. 

Echoing the words of Paul Gauguin - “Where do we come from, who are we, where are we going?” - Konan's work embraces this great space-time voyage of ours, and reflects on where our actions, beliefs, and values take us. In the characters and scenes he depicts, he aims not only to touch at our essence and humanity, which takes shape through individual and collective actions, but also to ponder our social and environmental impact. He is particularly concerned with irresponsible urbanization, poor city management, and e-waste pollution, which he experienced firsthand when he lived in the harsh environment of Mossikro.

Konan’s visual world explodes with energy and contrast. Colors are juxtaposed with muted tones, light with shade, definite contours with blurred ones. 

His latest series, which draws from his musical practice, has a lyrical power: a central character is caught in a whirlwind or surrounded by a multitude, represented in a realistic style reminiscent of the great masters of the Renaissance. These characters are sprawled across the artwork’s surface as if in space or on a musical score. With their movements borrowed from classical and contemporary dance, they evoke both a ballet and a symphony. For Konan, each one of us dances on a score with its own rhythm and length, but it’s when we come together that we forge our collective destiny. 

Konan works on canvas with mixed media as well as on plywood with electronic components recovered from all kinds of discarded electronic devices (e-waste). For his canvases, he often uses denim, the dark support allowing him to create beautiful and powerful effects with bleach before applying acrylic paint.  Both the bleach and the e-waste symbolize pollution and poor environmental management. 


Art Education

2012 : Master II in Painting, Institut National Supérieur des Arts et de l'Action Culturelle (INSAAC), Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

2004-2006 : Certification of Aptitude for Teaching Visual Arts (Certificat d’Aptitude Pédagogique pour l’Enseignement des Arts Plastiques - CAPEAS), INSAAC

2002-2004 : Diploma of Higher education in the Arts – Painting (Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Artistiques- Peinture), Valedictorian, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Abidjan

2000-2002 : Diploma of General Art Studies (Diplôme d’Etudes Artistiques Générales), Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Abidjan

1997-2000 : Baccalauréat H1 (High School Diploma), Lycée d'Enseignement Artistique (Art High School), Abidjan


Solo Exhibitions


Forging Our Collective Destiny, African Art Beats, Washington, DC

Layers of Identity, Windsor Gallery, Abuja, Nigeria
Salle des Casques, Jardin Rouge, Marrakesh, Morocco
Galerie Eureka, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Galerie Eureka, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Rotonde des Arts Contemporains, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Galerie Art du temps, Abidjan

Collective Exhibitions


Intertwined Narratives, African Art Beats, Washington DC, USA


RMB Latitudes Art Fair, Johannesburg, South Africa

Ciel Ouvert, Pyramide 2022, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Art and Design Fair - AKAA (7th edition), Paris, France
Dakar Biennale (Dak' Art), Official Selection (Pavilion of Côte d'Ivoire), Musée des Civilisations Noires, Dakar, Senegal
Dak'Art OFF, Africa: La Renaissance en Marche, Centre culturel Blaise Senior, Dakar, Senegal
ARCO LISBOA, Contemporary Art Fair, Lisbon, Portugal
Baby est Doux, 193 Gallery, Paris, France
Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
1-54 Exhibit, Jardin Rouge, Marrakech, Morocco
African Art Beats opening exhibit, Washington DC, USA
Galerie Eureka, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Jardin Rouge (Montresso Art Foundation), 1-54 - Contemporary African Art Fair,
Marrakech, Morocco
Official Selection, Ségou’Art - the Contemporary Art Fair held yearly in Segou, Mali
Alliance Française, Pretoria, South Africa
Hommage to the Biennale of Dakar, Martigny, Switzerland
International Exhibition of the Arts of the Diversity, Nice, France
Maison d’Aissa Dione, 4th edition of PARTCOURS, Dakar, Senegal
Ivorian Cultural Week, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Foundation Donwahi
Participation to the 7e Jeux de la Francophonie (7th Francophony Games), Nice,
Dak’Art  In & OFF - the Biennale of Contemporary African Art, Dakar, Senegal
Rotonde des Arts Contemporains, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
BICICI, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
6e Jeux de la Francophonie( 6th Francophony Games),  Beyrouth, Lebanon
1rst Games of the CEN-SAD, Museum of Niamey, Niger
World Bank, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire


   2023 Jardin Rouge (Montresso Art Foundation), Marrakech, Morocco
2021 Jardin Rouge (Montresso Art Foundation), Marrakech, Morocco
2019 A Six-Week Residency at Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Brussels, Belgium, In partnership with the Montresso Art Foundation
2018  Jardin Rouge (Montresso Art Foundation), Marrakech, Morocco
2017  Fondation sur le Niger, Segou, Mali
2015  Cité internationale des Arts - representing Côte d’Ivoire, Paris, France
2015 Juan Angel Workshop, Sevilla, Spain


2016  Special Jury Award at Ségou’Art - the Contemporary Art Fair held yearly in Segou, Mali
2014  Laureate of the Prix Christian Lattier, offering a residency at the Cité Internationale
          des Arts in Paris, from January to March 2015
2012  Laureate of the Prix UEMOA(prize awarded by the WAMU – Economic Monetary Union of West Africa) at the 10th edition of Dak’Art, the Biennale of Contemporary African Art, Dakar, Senegal
2009  Grand Prix Guy Nairay, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
2009  Gold Medalist at the 1st Games of the CEN-SAD in Niamey,
2003  Special Jury Award at the Festival de l’Eau, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire


 Collection of HM Mohamed VI, King of Morocco

CCH Pounder Collection


BCAO (Banque centrale des Etats d’Afrique de l’Ouest)

Rotonde des Arts (Côte d’Ivoire)

Numerous private collections

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