Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery is pleased to announce In Plain Sight, Olivier Souffrant’s upcoming solo exhibition in Dubai, opening on Saturday 24 February 2024.
Throughout his work, Souffrant is referencing African American masters such as Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Jean-Michel Basquiat and also European painters like Botticelli, Van Gogh, and Picasso. He witnesses the coup d’état of 2004 and later the earthquake of 2010. Therefore, with his Haitian background and his lack of resources, Souffrant uses everyday materials such as magazines, online publications, computers, and mobile phone to create his paintings.
Souffrant applies digital ways to render the collage technique by using photoshop where repeatedly he cuts and pastes images, by scanning images from magazines or using free-source images from the internet, he creates a new and fresh image translated into a 2-dimensional object. These images are printed either on canvas or on aluminum panels, treated as an underpainting where the artists repaint them with acrylic and oil paint. With these techniques, Souffrant is bringing up ideas such as the over-saturation of our society with instant images and their appropriation use. His work explores the depths of emotional and physical interiors through the layering of paint and images culled from social media.
As the title suggests, In Plain Sight revolves around themes such as visibility, transparency and celebration of the apparent. Contrariwise, it ironically implies that there is more to the artworks than the eye can catch: despite being in plain sight, there are deeper meanings or layers of interpretation.
In Restaurant Shadows the artwork itself captures a moment of social interaction and potential awkwardness, yet the focal point of the composition is the man in the middle walking in on two people having dinner. On the left side of the piece is another guy, who for reasons left to the viewers’ imagination, is in the midst of exiting the scene.
The characters’ body language and facial expressions convey a mix of discomfort, surprise, anger and also curiosity. While the woman at the table appears to be caught off guard – raising an eyebrow in response to the unexpected turn of events – the middle figure, is depicted in mid-motion, perhaps attempting to gracefully navigate the situation without causing too much disruption as the scene is set in a cozy restaurant environment. The artwork captures the nuances of human interaction, inviting viewers to ponder the circumstances leading to this spontaneous moment and raising questions about the dynamics, the unpredictability of human behaviour and the inherent irony that everyday life’s unexpected twists reserve us.
Born in Port-au-Prince in 1994, Olivier Jean-Daniel Souffrant lives and works in New York City. He studied at the University of Illinois, Chicago, IL. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions with Stems Gallery, Paris, FR; Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York, NY and Room57 Gallery, New York, NY. He has shown with institutions such as The Carr Center, Detroit, MI and the Harvey Museum, Talladega, AL.
Olivier Souffrant is presenting his first solo exhibition at Zidoun-Bossuyt Dubai.