A Harouna Ouedraogo work will immediately transport you to the 1980’s neo-expressionist paintings of icon Jean-Michel Basquiat. It is clear Ouedraogo was deeply influenced by the freedom or Basquiat’s work. He plays in the primary colors and introduces spontaneous, yet intentioned doodles which give his paintings a child-like candor.
Ouedraogo’s work captures the volatility and rawness of the streets and the external world that provides his inspiration. He uses both the abstract and concrete to tell stories with both human and animal figures. His work is wild and uncontained in a way that pulls the viewer into the deeper story being told or foretold.
At some points the narrative is guttural and in your face, taking on the same dog-eat-dog edge as the city. Ouedraogo’s brush strokes and sketches animate the mystery of the human profile and the dynamism of its construction. In Untitled- Profil, he places beings, within beings, speaking to the many versions of a single person some which are allowed to come into the world, many which lay stifled and dormant under the surface.
For work that stretches the imagination and challenges what you know of human nature, West African, Burkina born Harouna Ouedraogo is a movement.