Nobel Koty Receives 2024 ellipse Prize

This year dedicated to the Beninese art scene, the French art prize goes to Nobel Koty, who creates intimate self-portraits.

(left) Nobel Koty; (right) Nobel Koty, Voile #5, 2024, 130 x 110 cm, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy the artist.

(left) Nobel Koty; (right) Nobel Koty, Voile #5, 2024, 130 x 110 cm, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy the artist.

A painter exploring the art of self-portrait, Nobel Koty will benefit from a production grant and an exhibition at the AKAA, ALSO KNOWN AS AFRICA, fair from October 18 to 20, 2024. Additionally, the young talent will profit from a bespoke support and a communication campaign, providing him with visibility among professional networks, both locally and internationally.

Nobel Koty was chosen among 5 finalists by an independent jury composed by contemporary art professionals, including specialists of the Beninese art scene. The 2024 jury was made up of: Armelle Dakouo, Artistic Director of the AKAA fair and independent curator, Dominique Zinkpè, visual artist and president of the Centre, Abomey-Calavi, Céline Coyac Atindehou, Director of Maison Rouge hotel, and Lylly Houngnihin, Executive Director at Laboratorio Arts Contemporains.

The 2024 finalists, selected among 72 applications received from last March 18 to May 10, were: Marcel Kpoho, Nella Aguessy, Nobel Koty, Maria Adjovi et Nauld Adjahuime. For the first time since the launch of the Prize, a collective exhibition is organized from June 28 to July 19, 2024 at Maison Rouge, Cotonou.

About the artist

Born in 1988 in Cotonou, Benin, Nobel Koty creates self-portraits that allow him to probe his inner world. By depicting himself on a neutral background, the young man creates a void around him, laying himself bare. His introspective artistic approach explores the notion of modesty and the connection the individual has with their physical body, which protects and comforts.

Thus, his canvases become a refuge where human fragility can be revealed without restraint. Nobel Koty’s works reveal the vulnerability of the human being, capturing moments of uncertainty that pave the way for intense introspection. These moments of doubt are essential to our personal development, enhancing our empathy and understanding of mechanisms that sometimes elude us. By inviting to reflect on the human condition, he encourages everyone to explore the intricacies of their own existence to better understand the world around us.

The ellipse Prize
Related to a theme specific to each edition (Contemporary Tradition for this 2024 edition), the ellipse Prize is an itinerant visual art competition dedicated to the artistic creation from a different country each year. This contest aims to disseminate the messages conveyed by artists from all horizons, and to encourage intercultural exchanges, making creativity a means of strengthening social bond. Otherwise, the ellipse Prize wishes to encourage emerging artists’ mobility and initiate professionnal opportunities beyond borders.



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