"The path out of darkness is light, and mine is lit with color. I find comfort in vibrancy, and I crave the control found in geometric order".
The contrast within Adama's art is representative of a split in his life; difficult childhood years are the base layer of support for his more recent, positive experiences. The positive experiences only manifested after he found an outlet through creativity. His art is an autobiography. He hopes that it tells his story, but more importantly, that it brings a sense of calm to the viewer, like the process of creating it does for himself.
Before moving to the United States – before arriving in NYC, with its vim and color – he was raised in the Ivory Coast where life was harsh. Having had no control over his life he suffered during the Ivory Coast conflict, and though the Ivory Coast is still a part of him, he sheds little bits of those memories through each celebration of color and order is created. As a child, Adama experienced great darkness. "I was never able to relax, and so it was difficult to enjoy my childhood. Sometimes it felt like I was unable to breathe. Breathing Heart – just one example in a growing canon – expresses love, calm, and adventure, those aspects of life that were missing when I was a boy and a reminder that I became a piece of color in the darkness." he says.
Primarily, his portfolio consists of colorful geometric patterns on a black background. He is now completing large-scale oil paintings in this style. The dark background is representative of his childhood in the Ivory Coast: dark, brutal, abusive, traumatic. It is overlaid by patterns of ordered color that exhibit the positivity he felt after arriving in the United States. It represents the moment when love and gratitude flooded into his heart like a rushing tide of water. It represents this place, where after witnessing devastation, he was finally able to breathe and to express himself through art. Expression, to him, is exhalation.
Some of his art has been commissioned by various parties and organizations. In 2015, he donated a piece entitled ‘Love & Leadership’ to the International Rescue Committee, an organization that provides support in the Ivory Coast. Other pieces have been exhibited or purchased by artists and organizations. Most recently, marketing agency That’s Nice – located in NYC – exhibited a selection of work from his portfolio.