Kouka/ Unknown

France 1981

Street Art, Painting

www.kouka.me

Kouka
Unknown
Male
France
1981

Kouka is a French contemporary artist born in Paris in 1981, famous for his Guerriers Bantus – Bantu Warriors. He is a grandson of Francis Gruber. His painting and street art are means for never-ending explorations of who he is and where did he come from.

Art by Kouka

Kouka - No Culture, 2015 - installation view
Kouka – No Culture, 2015 – installation view

He graduated from the Art School of Avignon in 2005. Humanities, popular culture and hip-hop are massive influences for the artist. He is also inspired by music of Michael Jackson, poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke and cinematography of Quentin Tarantino. All of Kouka’s work is about connecting with the past and discovering the significance of our cultural heritage. Like in his Chimpanzees series, in the same artworks he is showing who the humans once were and the importance of culture.

Art by Kouka

Kouka - Chimpanzees, 2015 - installation view
Kouka – Chimpanzees, 2015 – installation view

His most famous pieces are the Bantu Warriors. Being of Franco and African origins himself, Kouka wanted to explore the traditions of his ancestors. The Bantus are the essence of man, as they are originally from Africa. Once again, the artist is reconnecting the modern times with history, creating a link between the past and the present. The goal is for humans not to forget who they are, who they were, and where we came from. Kouka’s Bantu Warriors stand on the walls on many cities, reminding that even though territory can be captured, the culture can’t be taken over.

Art by Kouka

Kouka - Babinga, 2014 - Bakaloi, 2015 - Considérant que la reconnaissance…, 2015
Kouka – Babinga, 2014 / Bakaloi, 2015 / Considérant que la reconnaissance…, 2015

He is represented by GCA Gallery in Nice, France.

Kouka lives and works in Paris.

Featured image copyright © Paul Etard.

All images copyright © Kouka.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Awaln'Art festivalMarrakech, MoroccoGroup
2015Bantus - No(s) Culture(s)Jardin Rouge, MoroccoSolo
2015ButterflyGalerie Taglialatella, Paris, FranceSolo
20158e Avenue Art fair ParisGalerie Taglialatella, Paris, FranceGroup
2015InexterieurRoche Bobois Showroom, Paris, FranceGroup
2014BantousGalerie Taglialatella, Paris, FranceSolo
2014Dali fait le MurEspace Dali, Paris, FranceGroup
2014Under the WaveMG Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2014UnknownFIAC OFF(icielle), Cité de la Mode et du Design, Paris, FranceGroup
2013Opus Délits ShowEspace Pierre Cardin, Paris, FranceGroup
2013L'Enfant BlamNew HeArt City Gallery, Paris, FranceSolo
2012IdentityNew HeArt City Gallery, Paris, FranceSolo
2011Guerriers BantusArticulez, Paris, FranceSolo
2010Kouka with the association T.R.A.C.E.S.La Forge de Belleville, Paris, FranceSolo