Yéanzi, born in 1988, is a contemporary artist from the Ivory Coast. After years as a traditional portraitist, Yéanzi redefined his relationship with the portrait. Breaking from conventional art practices, he now explores unique techniques consisting of melting wasted plastic materials – collected from the streets of Abidjan – on paper or canvas. He reveals the beauty and aestheticism of the individual through the ashes of wasted trash, while at the same time questioning the vast amounts of waste suffocating society.
This distinctive technique places Yéanzi’s work on the cornerstone of abstract and figurative arts. His paintings are more than just portraits; they comment on the role of individual identity in African society through the prism of social interactions within the community. There is no denying that Yéanzi was impacted by the Ivorian Civil War that started in 2011, a brutal tragedy that shook the country. Yet he is unique in the fact that his art is relentlessly optimistic. His works are not about trauma or violence of the past but instead strive to show the authentic spirit of Ivorians.
He studied painting and photography at the Ecole des Beaux Arts d’Abidjan (National School of Fine Arts of Ivory Coast). He has works in the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Rabat, and has shown in art fairs in Europe, North America, and Africa.
Yeanzi currently lives and works in Bingerville (Ivory Coast).