AUGUSTIN KASSI IS AN IVORIAN PAINTER WHO LIVES IN IVORY COAST ( AFRICA ).
HE IS BORN the 18 th February 1966 in Assoumoukro a small village near a town named MBATTO.
HE IS KNOWN for the paintings of large African Women. The idea came few years ago when in a bus in Abidjan ( capital city ) a large woman was asked to pay 2 places. It chocked him because when he was young he remembered how LARGE WOMEN WERE RESPECTED, VENEERED AND ABOVE ALL CONSIDERED THE MOST BEAUTIFUL.
HE THINK that things have change too much in Africa especially the perception of WHAT AND WHO IS BEAUTIFUL. HE blame this on the western influence. HE think that African needs to have and respect their own cultural values.
HE IS ALSO A HUMANITARIAN AND AN ENGAGED ARTIST. HE has created a workshop/foundation where 5000 poor children are introduced to painting in Abidjan every year. IT HAS A HUGE SUCCESS.
YOU CAN watch this BBC video where is talking about his work.
YOU CAN WATCH THIS VIDEO ABOUT HIS WORK IN HIS FOUNDATION ;
YOU CAN WATCH THIS ONE ABOUT HOW THE CHILDREN ARE WORKING ;
NOW A PREVIEW OF HIS WORK ;
HIS FOUNDATION has exported his workshop in other African counties like BURKINA FASO, MALI, NIGER AND CAMEROON.
HE BELIEVES THAT ART IS AS IMPORTANT FOR ART THE SAME WAY YOU ARE WORKING TO TRANSFORM YOUR NATURAL RESOURCES A COUNTRY LIKE YOUR NATURAL RESOURCES AND YOU MUST PROMOTE AND DEVELOP.
HE always try to encourage local Authorities to be involve in this kind of project.
HE IS VERY PASSIONATE AND DEDICATED TO THE DEVELOPMENT AND PROMOTION OF ART IN AFRICA.
SOME PEOPLE may think ART is not really a priority for AFRICAN because it is a "poor continent" affected by "war, hunger, HIV....and all sort of calamities" despite the fact that things are not entirely this way even they may think that YOU NEED TO CONCENTRATE ON FOOD, HEALTH, EDUCATION, ECONOMY ETC... BUT FOR AUGUSTIN KASSY ART MUST BE PART OF THIS PRIORITIES.
THAT'S why is travelling all over Africa to settle these Art Workshops.
I HOPE YOU WILL take time to watch the videos so YOU will understand WHAT IS TO BE NOT JUST A PAINTER BUT A CITIZEN ARTIST. GOD BLESS