This work, entitled Les trois chemins, was created with all the other works in the exhibition during a four-month residency that I carried out with the Cécile Fakhoury Gallery in Grand-Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire, between November 2021 and February 2022.
This work is particularly important in the series to which it belongs because it concentrates on the whole story that I tell in my paintings: the story of Mody, a young French-Senegalese man, who finds himself confronted with choices that call into question his cultural heritage, and which place him in situations of introspection and questioning. What part of his heritage should he keep, defend, and respect, and what part should he accept to leave aside in order to grow and build himself as a full-fledged individual? Here, the cloth, the large white sheet, symbolizes precisely everything that comes from his family and the past.
The theme of the trinity is fairly classic in painting, and here it indicates three possibilities open to him, suggested by these games of more or less total unveiling. It evokes questions of identity: who are we and how do we choose to present ourselves to others?
This work, whose aesthetics I thought of almost as a study, is therefore particularly symbolic for me. Mody presents himself to us in two ways, naked or half-naked, his face sometimes completely hidden by the sheet, sometimes revealed. His posture is proud, we feel that he is ready to move forward. At the same time, we share with him his introspective thoughts and this work thus turn the question it puts to the viewer around: who do you want to be, what hides you and what constitutes you, is part of you irrevocably?