Art & Culture

Published on March 3rd, 2020 | by Laurence de Valmy

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Adama Abib Coulibaly an artist with an endless vision

Photo credit: Lucas Vissar

“Time is malleable. When you see through the past, present, future; you realize all is the same” says Adama Abib Coulibaly, a 25 years old artist & designer, who creates colorful spiritual paintings inspired by his youth in Ivory Coast, where he experienced the hardships of civil war and poverty. 

He is connected with what some call “the other side” with dreams and visions and his paintings often represent the singular moment when, like a rushing tide of water, love and gratitude flooded his heart. This, like many of his other artistic endeavors is an exercise of colorful geometry that rises, with depth, from a base of pure black.

His work had been exhibited at many galleries such as ARENA, Onishi Gallery, That’s Nice, and Perrotin, NYC. He also recently presented his first fashion line, Infinite Amulet at The Cutting Room, NYC and presents an installation Adama Abib Coulibaly: Infinite Amulet, curated by Renee Riccardo at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, in New York city March 3rd to 9th. 

Adama Abib Coulibaly: Infinite Amulet – Courtesy of Renée Riccardo / ARENA 

This exhibition will present a combination of his bold, graphic, monumental paintings created with oil markers in a room full of patterned displays along with design objects that are inspired by his painting. This installation aligns his transition from a dark past in Africa with what he has become today, an artist that has an endless vision – blurring the lines between his deeply personal paintings with his fashion and design that transform difficulty into lightness. 

He shared the very moving stories of some of his artworks.

Maleoo 77, Pencil & Oil Paint Marker On Canvas ,  36” X 48’’, November 23rd 2018 – Courtesy of Renée Riccardo / ARENA                    

I had dreams before I began drawing this African Deity. It started with a voice of a little girl I heard while sleeping calling my name. I rushed to turn on the light and didn’t see anyone in my bedroom.  Then I had dreams of me being lost in the desert, not knowing where to go. I was running out of food and water and passed out in the middle of the desert. I felt someone wiping my face off and making me drink water.  When I opened my eyes, she looked exactly like this painting and said; “You are in my palace and I am the Ancient Mother of LOVE. These symbols are the LANGUAGE of LOVE.”  

She told me her name was Bintou and that she wanted to meet me one last time before she could go and that she would be watching over me. 

When I told my mom about this dream, she explained to me that this little girl was my cousin Bintou who passed away at 5 when I was 3. Bintou and I had a very tied bond. Even after her death I was still talking to her playing with her and doing everything with her.

Eye Of Nanguin 777, Pencil & Oil Paint Marker On Canvas , 36” X 48’’, March 25th 2019 – Courtesy of Renée Riccardo / ARENA     

The whole country was at war and we were struggling everyday barely finding food. One day my grandma held my hand and said “you are a true survivor. No matter what happens, don’t lose your path to greatness. You carry the name of our ancestor, a great king warrior called Nanguin. When I look at you all I see is him, but you are different.”

My grandma drew 7 on the ground and whispered some words, asking Mother Earth for help. It was my first time seeing magic. Few minutes later someone came offering a food and even some money. I asked her to teach me but she told me “You must learn it from yourself it lies within you. You feel it everyday! You hear it everyday! Just open your EYE and let it come to you. Surrender all the burdens that clouds your mind.” She added “with both eyes you only see half the picture. Just surrender and open your EYE.” 

Anybody can open their EYE, we just need to unsee and unlearn what’s around and connect from within. Time is malleable. When you start seeing through the past, present, future; you realize all is the same. The answers to all your questions are within not without. 

H. E. R , Pencil & Oil Paint Marker on Canvas, 24” X 30”, Feb 15 2016 – Courtesy of Renée Riccardo / ARENA

During the civil war my aunt became very sick. The whole country was on fire and we had no medicine to treat her. My other aunt and grandma tried to save her but we lost her. That night, I heard a scream while sleeping and saw that it was my aunt’s voice exhaling her last breath.  Everything around me started slowing down, I saw a beaming light scattered into different colors shaping itself into a woman form and I felt hypnotized. Later, I walked toward her body and knew that she wasn’t dead, she never was, her beautiful soul will always be with us in our hearts and memories she was rejuvenating.

Contact Renée Riccardo at arenagalbyreneericcardo@gmail or 646 734 2261 for all additional inquiries into Adama Abib Coulibaly’s works.

Adama Abib Coulibaly: Infinite Amulet, Curated by Renée Riccardo at SPRING/BREAK Art Show

625 Madison Ave. (between 58th & 59th Streets), NYC – Room 1157, 11th floor

Collectors VIP Preview: Tuesday March 3rd, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

VIP Opening Night (Advance Tickets Required): Tuesday, March 3rd 5 – 9 p.m. Regular Show Days: March 4th – 9th 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.


About the Author

is a French born artist, who lives and works in Philadelphia. She is a painter creator of the POST series, painted Instagram of the past revisiting art history. Her work is regularly exhibited in galleries and art faire. She created the blog "The Curious Frenchy" and is a contributor to French Quarter Magazine. https://www.instagram.com/laurencedevalmy/



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