Barthélémy Toguo is a multi-discipline artist working with watercolor, sculpture, photography, video, installations and performance art. He started his art studies at the Abidjan School of Fine Arts in Ivory Coast. His studies continued in Europe where he attended Grenoble’s Graduate School of Art and Klaus Rinke’s studio at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf.
His first training involved reproducing classic European sculpting until in 1992, he took a woodcarving workshop that would radically change his approach. In Grenoble, he discovers photography and video and later encounters “German realism” while studying in Düsseldorf. It is here that he became interested in performance art and in 1996 he performs his “Transit” series.
Thango did not use an easel to paint. His technique involved using enormous narrow rolls of canvas, placed on a flat surface on which he would he would sketch in pencil. The visions, stories and questionings that appeared on the canvas undoubtedly came from his wanderings in the forest.
His huge frescos are painted in flat, monochrome colors and encircled with thick, black outlines. They lead us into a kind of imaginary and primitive forest where the worlds of animals, plants, monster figures and stylized masks come together.