PAINTER & SCULPTOR
Mederic Turay (b. 1979, Abidjan, Ivory Coast) is a multidisciplinary storyteller who lives his art as a privilege and uses a plurality of techniques to create entities, sometimes figurative, sometimes abstract, which become the protagonists of his graphic stories.
Turay was raised in the United States in the 1990s, where he was privileged to be exposed to the hip hop movement, graphic novels, and museums engaging with works of Picasso, Van Gogh, and Basquiat. He returned to the Ivory Coast as a late teen to pursue his art education, and travelled widely in Africa in search of source materials and inspiration. Turay’s incandescent, vast canvases stage beguiling storylines of his global background and represent his effort to distill, through the performative physicality of painting, the essence of the contemporary human experience in our transitional, post-colonial society.
Turay’s concept of “human with a capital H” is one that transcends racial, geographic and socio-political stereotypes. A descendant of the noble Akan people of West Africa, Turay also seeks to connect with his heritage by appropriating motifs such as ancestral masks and spiritual symbols. The balance of life forces, symbolized by two complementary forms: the cross and the spiral, in a way his yin and his yang. The spiral, round and infinite, refers to the movement of the cosmos, the dynamism, the creative fertility. Conversely, the cross, rigid in straightness, symbolizes anchoring, stability and material concretization. It is most often in the eyes of his characters that he inserts these cosmogonic symbols. For him, balance in duality leads to happiness.
Turay’s multi-media surfaces pulsate with an eclectic, raw energy. His new body of work is more abstract and introspective, assembling coarse coffee grinds, sumptuous oil and acrylic brushstrokes, and locally sourced pigments to create a multisensory, cacophonous experience of depth. His images are so cosmic in scope that they require viewers to suspend their imagination to explore their nuanced juxtaposition of many contrasting energies.
The temptation to decode Turay’s complex and voluminous sampling of inherited traditions and new forms leads to a meditative plunge into his polyphonic story of existence. These images document his quest of truth seeking and urgently proclaim the power and necessity of painting in this global, mass media age.
A small village in Atlas mountains near the Toubkal mountain, about 80 kilometers (50 mi) from Marrakech, Morocco.
2021 Bloom Gallery – Abandoned Memoires Geneva, Switzerland Atlas of a Shaman Aedo, Giovanni Bonelli, Milan, Italy
2019 Itinerary of a Story Teller, Galerie des Bains, Geneva, Switzerland
2018 African Dandy, Gallery Out of Africa, Barcelona, Spain
2017 Chelsea Football Club for NIKE, London, United Kingdom
2017 African Dreamer, Galerie 38, Casablanca, Morocco
2016 Aéroport d'Abidjan, Donwahi Foundation, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
2015 Unlimited Morocco, BCK Gallery, Marrakech, Morocco
2015 African Art is Beautiful, Cherkaoui Foundation, Tangier,
2014 Morocco Liberation unmasked, Gallery Sulger Buel Lovell, London,
2014 United Kingdom Traces of Humanity, Gallery Out of Africa, Barcelona, Spain
2013 Centre Culturel Français, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
2012 Art andintegration in Africawith Sea Plaza, Dakar,Senegal
2010 Je viens de là, Cergy-Pontoise, France
2009 La Croix Rouge, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
2006 Mirroir, Soﬁtel, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
2021 West Bund Art Fair, HDM gallery Bloom gallery, Beijing, China
2020 Prête-Moi ton Rêve, Abidjan, Ivory Coast
2019 Vision Art Festival, Crans-Montana, Switzerland
2019 Enfants Soldat, Drouot, Paris, France
2019 URBAN ART FAIR Paris, France
2017 ARTX Lagos, Nigeria
2017 AKAA Paris, France
2017 Art Project Museum Murcia Barcelona, Spain
2017 Mural Museum Mohamed 6, Morocco
2017 Rabat “Afrique en capital”, Morocco
2017 Commissioned Tramway, Morocco
2016 Marrakech biennale, Morocco
2016 International Contemporary Art Fair Lyon /Art3F, France
2015 International Contemporary Art Fair Mulhouse/Art3F, France
2015 International Contemporary Art Fair Paris/Art3F, FRANCE
2015 International Contemporary Art Fair Bordeaux/Art3F, France
2015 International Contemporary Art Fair Nice /Art3F, France
2014 Commissioned Mural Barcelona-Sitges, Spain
2013 Auction Sales “Fondation Eboué Emanuel “, Ivory Coast
2013 Auction sales for the “Fondation Didier Drogba”, IvoryCoast