Mederic Turay Ivory Coast, b. 1979

During his artistic formation, Mederic Turay created a strong personal style, synthesizing African cultural and figurative ancestry with western iconographic influences. This linguistic “koine” harmonizes the classical compositional structure of Ancient Greece with the tradition of sub-Saharan masks and Shamanism, placing the ritual dimension of the latter in perfect synergy with Western, and more contemporary aesthetic dimensions. 


The artist uses a diverse range of techniques, employing oil painting, acrylic, and pastels as well as more unusual techniques such as coffee or other natural substances. Thereby, he creates an amalgam of heterogeneous, yet delicately composed iconographic elements. His works release an atavistic energy, alluding to a universal past and a dimension of infantile expression common to all human expression. Turay considers himself a narrator through images, where stories and dreams seamlessly fuse. 


“Stories help us learn from the past and plan for the future … [I believe] in the existence of a universal (and especially visual) grammar that transcends ethnic, cultural and religious barriers…the permanence of a universal collective memory, which unites the beings of the five continents through the millennia….”


Toure Mohamed Mederic Oumar, known as Mederic Turay, was born in in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in 1979. In 2003, he graduated from the INSAAC, Académie des Beaux-Arts in Abidjan, after attending the CTAA, Centre Technique des Art Appliqués Bingerville, equally in Abidjan. In 2005, he participated in the Atelier International in Abidjan and Paris. Mederic Turay has widely exhibited in both Europe and Northern Africa; solo exhibitions were held at private galleries in Italy and Switzerland (2019); the Cherkaoui Foundation, Tangier, MA (2015); or the Centre Culturel Français, Abidjan, CI (2013). His work is included in important public and private collections, among them the Charles Saatchi Collection; the Fondation Donwahi; or the collection of the Museum Murcia. He lives and works in Abidjan.