Mederic Turay, The Ivorian Artist Who Makes Art From Coffee


Médéric Turay, an artist born in the Ivory Coast, creates art from coffee. He began drawing when he was just 4 years old and today, his art is featured in some of the world’s most prestigious exhibitions.

Two cultures struggling

In 1995, Médéric moved back to his native country with his family where he finished his studies and began training in fine arts. He graduated from Ivory Coast’s National Institute of the Arts in 2000. His career really took off in 2013 when he was awarded the Jack Bell prize – a UK based program that supports young African artists. His art reflects his dual heritage.

“I have those two combinations of cultures struggling in my soul,” he said. “I think my paintings reflect that because you can see something very African in them, but also a very contemporary style, like street art.”

A multitalented artist

Turay started his career as an artist in the music business. The young rapper released his first album Ma route est longue in 2003. He was nominated for the Best Rap Artist, Ivory Coast  prize at the MTV Awards. Médéric performed  in several venues in the US as well as in France, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal, and of course in his native country of Ivory Coast.

Celebrating his roots through art

Coffee is a main export of the Ivory Coast and it plays a big part of Médéric’s art.

“I add glue to thicken the coffee, so that I can work it just like acrylic paint. I spread it, add colored paper, and work it up in layers. It’s a slow process but each time it dries, it starts to morph, and the face begins to appear by itself,” he explained.  “The best way for me to celebrate black beauty is to express myself with beautiful, bright colors.”

Inspired by real life

Médéric’s art often refers to important world issues. In a piece called Broken Dreams, the artist addresses the problem of child soldiers in Africa.

“It’s bad enough that children’s lives are torn apart by wars they didn’t start.  But when they’re forced into fighting in the conflict themselves, it causes psychological and physical damage that can often never be repaired.”

Another piece entitled Rich in Your Heart also addresses real life issues inspired by personal experiences.

“A friend of mine in the U.S. recently told me that two homeless people died on the streets, just in the last two days.  It was in the city I come from, Washington D.C. That inspired me to make this piece.”

Accomplished and humble

His art has been featured in major galleries, such as the Saatchi Gallery in London, Ethan Cohen in New York, and Pierre Bergé in France. You will also find some of his creations in private collections in Europe. His work is currently in exhibition at the Marrakech Biennale 2016 festival in Morrocco.

“It’s really about finding your own collectors and people that will follow you all the way.  When the Saatchi Gallery bought 17 of my pieces, that took me to another level,” he said.  Even with his amazing success, he remains humble.  “Despite that, I still feel like I’m only just starting out as an artist.”



About: Mederic Turay

DSCF6950 - Copie - Copie Mederic Turay African Painter, , and Sculptor Movements: Artphomanism ( Traces) Born: September 28, 1979 - Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire “Truth is the perception of which man presents ideas of its time… Finding traces and proof of our true existence is an Art.” Biography Childhood Toure Mohamed Mederic Oumar Winceslas “Mederic Turay” was born into a diverse family. His father was a Colonel of the Ivory Coast’s Military, and he show to be rebellion in the family not wanting to follow the same path: his mother university graduate and work a long career as an executive secretary in Abidjan. At a young age of 4, Mederic father was transferred to Washington D.C where he landed in a brave new world. Admiring art at an early age of 7, his love for cartoons, trips to the museums, and art exhibitions attended by his parents gave him all the inspiration he needed. At the age of 12, he replicated Vicent Van Gogh – The Prison, and adopted a love for fine art. .Early Training Mederic returned to Ivory Coast in 1994 at 15 years of age, and immediately enrolled at the CTAA (Centre Techniques de Art Appliquée) instead of local high school. Fortunately, his access to foreign education and knowledge of world and Arts, Mederic was top his class and was accepted to INSAAC ABIDJAN (Institut National Supérieur des Arts et de l'Action Culturelle) where he quickly started to make his name for himself in the local art scene. This was his introduction to a cultural avant-garde, in which young artists were encouraged to express themselves. In 1997 after wining Best Young Artist, SIFCOM Group, his confidence and desire to share his art with the world began. Artistic Philosophy Mederic’s artistic style expresses an idea of “Artphomanism”. Love for life, and constant search for the truth of our existence, history, discoveries, and unknown human evolution. He identifies realism and captures/identifies our human intervention in nature’s coarse of life. The fundamental philosophy of Humans needing to leave “Traces” of content, objects, technologies and marks on the planet and cavitations as it progresses. Which make our actions, progress, and retrogressions as a species of complex individual, groups and kin’s living in a world of coincidences. This philosophy gives inspirations to transcend human expression which he labels as “Art”. Title/ Last Dinner with my Father/size 200x150/year/2018 Art Technique Lover of neo-Expressionism and Picasso's cubist compositions, Francis Bacon tortured souls, or , tribal Art from Africa , he creates his style "Traces", which is rooted in an existential relationship with the world in which everyone can identify. Combining different materials, Mederic builds, cuts, accumulates, composes, with energy and spontaneity. Group Show 2015: Abidjan ArtFestival ( AAA) Fondation Donwahi/Ivory Coast 2015: N2N Gallery Abu Dhabi , United Arab Emirates 2015: Six Artists, One Africa Chelsea Gallery, London 2015: Galerie Zandi, Berlin-Germany 2014: Selection by “Saatchi Gallery”, London 2015: Africa plural,Gallery Out of Africa, Barcelona 2014: Jack Bell, Gallery Art prize, London 2011: Arkadi, Centre Culturel Français, Abidjan 2011: City of Hall, Abidjan 2011: ART from Africa, Guishard solution-Washington DC 2009: Sifcom,Abidjan 2017: Street Art Project Musee Murcia Barcelone Solo Show 2018; Hotel Movempick Marrakech Morocco 2018; African Dandy O.O.A . Barcelone 2017; African Dreamer gallerie 38 Casablanca Morocco 2016: Collaboration with Donwahi Foundation and Abidjan Airport for the VIP Salon 2015: Unlimited Morocco. BCK Gallery Marrakech 2015: Afric’Art is Beautiful, Cherkaoui Foundation, Tangier 2014: Liberation unmasked, Gallery Sulger Buel Lovell, London. 2014: Traces of Humanity, Gallery Out of Africa , Barcelona 2013: Centre Culturel Français , Abidjan 2012: Art and integration in Africa with Sea Plaza, Dakar 2010: Je viens de là , Cergy-Pontoise 2009: La Croix Rouge, Abidjan 2006: Hotel Sofitel « Miroir », Abidjan 2001: Galerie Art pluriel , Abidjan 1999: L’Enfance, Embassy of Italy, Abidjan 1999: Art Gallery “Art’Essence“, Côte d’Ivoire Art Fair & Auction, Mural 2017: ARTX Lagos Nigeria 2017: AKAA Paris Fance 2017: A.M.R.E.F Auction New York USA 2017: Street Art Project Museum Murcia Barcelone 2017: Mural Museum Mohamed 6 Morroco 2017: Rabat Afrique en capital Morroco 2017: commissioned work for Nike and Chelsea soccer Team London 2017: commissioned Tramway, Morroco 2017: commissioned train wagon ONCF 2016: Marrakech biennale Morroco 2016:A.M.R.E.F Auction New York 2016: International Contemporary Art Fair lyon /Art3F France 2015: International Contemporary Art Fair Mulhouse/Art3F France 2015: International Contemporary Art Fair Paris/Art3F 2015: International Contemporary Art Fair Bordeaux/Art3F France 2015: International Contemporary Art Fair Nice /Art3F France 2018 ; Auction sale Christies and Saatchi London 2017: ARTX Lagos Nigeria Art Fair commissioned jersey for Nike and chelsea soccer team london 2014 : Commissioned Mural Barcelona-Sitges 2013 : Auction Sales “ Fondation Eboué Emanuel “, Ivory Coast 2013 : Auction sales for the “Fondation Didier Drogba” 2013 : Auction sales “ONG grand coeur Yaya Touré 2013 : Auction sales “Save the Children” in collaboration with Moët & Chandon Education ATELIER INTERNATIONAL, Abidjan, Ivory Coast Paris, France 2005 ACADEMIE DES BEAUX ARTS, INSAAC Abidjan, Ivory Coast 2003 Centre Technique des Arts Appliqués de Bingerville (CTAA) 1999 CENTRE TECHNIQUE DES ARTS APPLIQUES BERGINVILLE - Abidjan, Ivory Coast 2001 Residency 2017: residence galerie 38 casablanca 2015: residence Villa de France Tanger 2015:Residency in Fondation Donwahi, Abidjan 2015: Residency in Caravan Serai, Marrakech 2015: Residency in Matisse room, Tangier villa de france Collectors Saatchi London Ethan Cohen, New YorK "Collections", S.M. King Mohamed VI Morroco Cécilia Sarkozy France Richard Attias France Didier Drogba Foundation Fondation Donwahi cote divoire German Collection Private Spanish Collection Kyo noir italy dubai private collection Museum Moahemd 6 Morroco Museum Murcia Spain Espagne Fondation Banque Populaire Morroco AMREF New York USA Turay Info and Contact Home page : Facebook :Mederic Turay Artist Instagram :Mederic Turay Twitter ; Turay mederic Email/ phone/ 00212 656330713 / 00212 524055940

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