Lives & Works in Grand Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire.
Sculptor and Designer Jean-Servais Somian’s work is characterised by a fresh examination of the concept of Tropicalia, a creative movement that originated in the late 1960s in Brazil, and the revitalisation of the traditional and declining craft of working with coconut tree wood. Carving into the trunks of fallen trees and adding touches of primary colours and geometric blocks, Somian creates awesome totemic constructions that represent a blend of the two continents on which he has lived, studied, and worked - Africa and Europe.
His pieces, though sometimes pushing the limits of sculpture, remain functional and utilitarian, blending contemporary design with traditional elements. Somian’s creations stand out for his choice of materials, such as coconut, ebony, and amazaque woods, and also for the use of African everyday objects such as basins, sponge, and old fishing pirogues. “The Demoiselles”, as he mischievously calls his ongoing series of unique sculptures, are a nod to Picasso. They represent Modernism’s old debt to African Art whilst raising questions about current methods of construction in African mega-cities such as Abidjan.
Jean-Servais Somian will be presented by Galerie 110 Véronique Rieffel and 50 Goldborne.