“We are all a reflection of paper. I am developing the concept of the fragility of paper in relation to human beings. We are as fragile as paper. If you do not take care of paper, it tears. Paper is not flat. I do not mount paper, I let it live, I let it take shape. I find it beautiful. It shows that we are not perfect. We are not straight, neatly folded. You see the folds, the lines, it talks about movement, about travel.”
UNSETTLED presents two works by Thierry Oussou (b. 1988, Benin) showcasing his distinctively gestural style with drips, splatters, and calligraphic marks. Distorted figures, faces, objects and symbols float freely against a dark paper background in an unsettling universe. Oussou’s unique choice for black paper as a medium was inspired by the small slates used by schoolchildren. In 2014 he started to experiment with larger sheets, which are now his standard practice. For him, paper is more than a surface, it is a conceptual medium. The material qualities of the unmounted paper are crucial for his works and Oussou favors it over canvas.