Applying an inter-disciplinary approach by merging found objects, photographs, and raw materials, Ouattara Watts’ paintings invoke the artist’s multicultural identity and offer various levels of readings, socially and historically. With lyricism and wit, Watts conjures imaginary worlds and magical visions, both urban and ancestral, to contemplate the metaphysical relationships between beings.
Born in Côte d’Ivoire, Ouattara Watts later studied at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. While in Paris, he met fellow artist and friend Jean-Michel Basquiat, who encouraged Watts to move to New York. Watts has exhibited internationally, significant exhibitions include Résonances, Espace Paul Rebeyrolles, France (2019); Before Looking at this Work, Listen to it, Galerie Cécile Fakhoury, Abidjan (2018); DAK’ART – La Biennale de l’Art africain contemporain, Dakar (2018 and 2016); La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2017), Afriques Capitales, La Villette, Paris (2017); Body of Evidence, Smithsonian Institute, Washington (2006); The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994, Museum of Modern Art PS1, New York (2002); Documenta 11, Kassel (2002).