Rainbow Blues


Kesso is a Montreal-based artist of Guinean and Quebecker origins.

Art is what most intensely engages me with this world. My present limits lie less in my imagination than in the means to materialize whatever comes through my mind. Ten years ago, when I created twenty-meter narrative embroideries of intimate, erotic and sexual relationships (Rainbow Blues 2007-2008, Intimate Ballad 2008-2010), these limits seemed almost not to exist. I have more recently tried to maintain that hallucinatory spirit of amplified possibility through an ongoing installation of drawings entitled Wall and Discards (2006-2017). This piece comprises of more than a thousand drawings accumulated over the years, orchestrated and displayed dialectically on the wall and floor.


Memory, emotions and relationships are the core explorations of my practice which is autobiographical. At what speed can I transform materials from my daily life into art before they overwhelm me, physically and emotionally? It’s an extremely fine and chaotic balance to maintain and one which constantly pushes me radically to the edge. The latter assesses more to the extreme energy from within which leads me to create than to what may be considered as radical acts of artistic expression to the outside world.


The creation of memory is perhaps my practice’s most vital and empowering force. My obsession with memory comes from the fact that, having been separated from my native country (Guinea), biological mother and father (dead) before the age of two, I have had to recreate an intimate narrative of my origins with the materials that I possessed, inventing and improvising in the process. From that matrix of memory recreated has grown the need to record even the most trivial events of my life and to fix the people that I loved on grounds that would keep them from suddenly disappearing. I see art as a way of reinscribing life with a sense and codes of my own: that is my particular resilience and my resistance to adversity.


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