Abou Traoré

Burkinabe artist Abou Traoré comes from a long line of blacksmiths. Born in Bobo-Dioulasso (then Haute-Volta) in 1960, the artist began working in the family workshop at the age of ten. Studying under his father, Traoré learned the ancestral technique of lost-wax casting, a labor intensive process used to create metal sculptures cast from a wax model. In 1983, Traoré left the family workshop to and turned his full attention to artistic pursuits. A meeting with sculptors from the Groupe Fuzion the following year marked a major turning point for the artist, and Traoré began exhibiting with the French and Swiss artists across Europe.

For the past twenty years, his work has grown decidedly more abstract. Drawing inspiration from symbolic animal representations found in Bobo culture, Traoré sculpts tactile and graceful compositions. In particular, the artist works from traditional African masks, sculpting as a way to examine and highlight their ritual significance and aesthetic properties. Since the early 1990s, Traoré has participated in numerous artistic symposiums in his native Burkin Faso and Togo, and exhibited in galleries across Africa and Europe. He continues to hone his craft, making significant advances in casting techniques and sharing them with fellow Bobo-Dioulasso craftsmen.

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