Boua takes the street kids of his hometown Abidjan as subjects for his portraits. ‘I wanted to show their suffering, their way of life’, he says, ‘so that people are finally aware of this painful reality they pretend not to see’. The artist is noted for his textured and layered compositions, using tar and acrylic on found cardboard boxes. Each layer is applied and then scrubbed and stripped back, leaving abstract forms that come in and out of focus. His use of found materials – recycling the cardboard boxes used as makeshift shelters by street kids – shows a strong engagement with his environment. Boua achieves a careful balance between his heavy gestures and violent execution and the gentle treatment of his subject matter, both mute and subtle.