Modern Animals Gallery

Yanma Fofana

Matters of concern

We are pleased to announce "Matters of Concern", the first solo show of the Paris based artist Yanma Fofana, born 1999. 

“My work revolves around my family, which is my primary source of inspiration. In my art, I explore the concepts of temporality, memory, and erasure.

I depict my relatives in moments spent with them or using family archives that I immortalize through scenes from current life, as if to inscribe them in time. My paintings have an ephemeral dimension: with their frequent erasures, they give the impression of being unfinished or in per- petual evolution. Thus, my paintings serve as testimonials, a desire to remember the sensations experienced during these moments and the emotions they may have aroused.

For over a year now, I have also been reflecting on the notion of ‘Placelessness,’ which represents the feeling of disconnection from space that can lead to a sense of uprooting and a certain melancholy.

I have also started creating my own wallpaper patterns to surround my characters. These pat- terns encircle my characters as if to isolate them. My imaginary compositions are the product of my inspirations: the patterns of traditional Ivorian clothing worn by my mother or references to art history.

Material and texture play a significant role in my paintings. Through successive layers of colored glazes and impasto painting, I enjoy playing with the density of my oil paint layers, creating sensations of depth or light.

Color is also crucial in my practice; I am a colorist painter, carefully choosing and reflecting on the colors I use. I appreciate having contrast in my paintings, drawing artistic references from throughout art history, including figures such as El Greco, Henri Matisse, and more recently, Victor Man. Purple, a color I began to explore after my exchange program in Los Angeles, is a predominant color in my recent pieces, embodying melancholy and an idea of dreaminess and strangeness inspired by the American night filter present in cinema.”

Yanma Fofana

Paris, December 2023