The Ivorian artist Ngoye (Kouamé Jean Ngoran) graduated from the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 2006 and impresses with his lively neo-expressionist compositions. The main themes of his works are African masks, man and nature, hidden psychosocial phenomena and human dynamics. Ngoye's works can be found in renowned private and public collections in the Ivory Coast as well as in international collections in Germany, Italy and France. He also won the 47th Art Prize of the Société de Distribution d’eau en Côte d’Ivoire (SODECI).

Ngoye counts Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon among his sources of inspiration, and his art follows their approach of reshaping, deconstructing and rearranging painted objects and figures. In his portrait works, the painter analyses the inner state of mind of people, it is sometimes so different from what is worn on the outside. The people portrayed are no longer recognizable, their mask-like faces fading into each other, almost forming a unity. The motif of masks has occupied Ngoye for a long time. They are not least an expression of mistrust, an isolation of one's own emotions from a hostile outside world. 

"These masks we wear hide what is behind them: the true identity. Because we live in a certain mistrust. Since my childhood I have experienced so many crises, this pain during wars, epidemics and even today during Covid: crises that drain us and stress us. That is the reason for me to explore the world behind the façade. That's why I started painting masks and faces. My task as an artist is to show this, but also to turn my gaze inward and ask myself who I am and how I adapt to the changing environment: am I staying who I think I am ?" (Ngoye, 2021) 

In his current series, he draws inspiration from the special technique of Bogolan fabric with natural dyes. Bogolan is a hand-woven fabric originating from Mali, which has been given a unique look for centuries by the distinctive natural dyeing technique. The dyes come from leaves and bark of African trees and iron-rich mud from the Niger River. Ngoye himself is fascinated by the very time-consuming technique and the strong connection to nature and tradition, which is not least due to a close bond with his own home. The colours used by the artist are also drawn from natural processes. This technique is intended to create a more direct, organic connection bet-ween the work and the viewer in terms of content and to refer to the naturalness of man.