Gordon Robichaux, New York (F16)
Sanou Oumar (born in 1986) lives in New York.
Sanou Oumar’s serialized, daily drawing practice helps him reframe and come to terms with the chaos of his past and present experience: the trauma and constraints of his childhood, and the physical and emotional displacement he faces as an asylum seeker in the U.S.
Oumar’s intricate, architectural drawings are borne out of a real yet imaginative desire for home: roots, order, and infinite calm. He draws to commune with other worlds and dimensions, the act of which is by turns metaphysical, liberating, and restorative. “The reason I am alive is because of them.” He elevates quotidian materials—pen, marker, colored pencil—and employs his personal possessions as stencils: his ID card, spoons, washers. The drawings optically engage the viewer in a complex exploration of pattern, color, and form, promising the same gift they give their maker: an experience of tranquility, beauty, imagination, and transformation.
Sanou Oumar was born in Burkina Faso, West Africa, lives in the Bronx, and is currently seeking asylum in the U.S. Oumar has exhibited his work at Gordon Robichaux, New York, at South Willard, Los Angeles; and, Herald St, London. His art has been lauded on two occasions by The New Yorker, and a book of his drawings was published by Pre-Echo Press in 2018.