Homage: Sess Essoh
25 February - 31 March 2023
Galerie Melbye-Konan will exhibit the new artworks of internationally recognized artist Sess Essoh in his firt solo exhibition in Germany titled "Homage" from February 25 to March 31, 2023. The exhibition is dedicated to the great forgotten of Africa's past. On 400m2, the artist questions our collective memory of these personalities in his colorful paintings at Galerie Melbye-Konan.
Sess Essoh graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in Abidjan in 2012 with a Master's degree in Art and was awarded the second prize by the International Association of Art Critics of Côte d'Ivoire in 2017. In 2022, his works were quickly sold out at the 1-54 in Paris. His works can already be found in recognized collections, including the collection of the French bank Société Générale and the collection of the Fondation Edmond de Rothschild, as well as in numerous private collections.
The people depicted in this exhibition were African kings and queens, artists and politicians. They all have one thing in common: they have influenced history in one way or another. Sess Essoh's works feature, among others, South African freedom fighter and singer Myriam Makeba and Nigerian Fela Anikulapo Kuti, who was a political activist and is considered the founder of Afrobeat and Highlife. The artist incorporates photographs and newspaper clippings of these personalities into his current works.
In his oeuvre, Sess Essoh uses a variety of materials and techniques. The artist, for instance, uses paper collages, acrylic paints, pastel crayons, as well as gold leaf on his canvases to give his works their captivating texture. Literature, the dialectic of language and philosophy hold an important part in Sess Essoh's work. His creative process begins and ends with writing. Essoh also integrates written elements into his works. The artist considers it essential to record or rewrite history.
"My creative work is a complex process in which every step counts. It is both a theatricalization of political life and a poetic translation of my critical view of societies or humanity in general. Literature, painting, philosophy, history and often music are part of this corpus." (Sess Essoh)
With his paintings, the artist wants to draw attention to his perception that society and the socio-political environment surrounding him are losing their orientation and values. His work is influenced by reading, conversations with people he meets, and discussions on social networks.