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Diamond Fighters B

Diamond Fighters B
acrylic, oilstick, beads, nails, feathers and paper collage on wood
64 5/8 x 82 5/8 x 3 7/8in. (164.2 x 209.8 x 10cm.)
Executed in 2011
Galleria Continua, San Gimignano.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2014.
Bordeaux, Musée d’Aquitaine, EVENTO, 2011.
Rome, MACRO - Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Secret Garden, 2012-2013, p. 92 (installation view, pp. 24 & 93; detail illustrated in colour, p. 94).
Cambridge, Heong Gallery at Downing College, When The Heavens Meet The Earth, 2017, p. 105 (illustrated in colour, p. 92; detail illustrated in colour, p. 93).
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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Lot Essay

Pascale Marthine Tayou’s work is distinctive for its fluid and spontaneous style and its deft, subversive use of found objects. Often linked to themes of the diaspora, travel and the encounter, the Cameroon-born artist attempts to remove elements of autobiographical narrative from his work. For Tayou, being a traveller is a psychological condition capable of destabilising pre-conditioned socio-political and economic structures. At the beginning of his career, Tayou adopted the feminised forms of his parents’ names—Pascale and Marthine—reflecting his disregard for such limiting categories as gender, geographical location or cultural identity. His work appears to pay homage to Pop art, and he frequently repurposes found materials into bold, playful and colourful interpretations of contemporary life.
Diamond Fighters B depicts multiple male figures competing and grappling over a diamond. The figures are rendered in a loose and naïve style, mimicking juvenile drawings. Drawn onto a wooden board and spilling over onto the frame, the colourful scene wryly reflects on some of the issues relating to the extraction and trade in diamonds, particularly pertaining to Africa. The work also incorporates collaged paper, beads, nails and festoons of feathers, transforming the picture plane into a bricolage of obscure fetishistic power.
Tayou was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon, in 1967. He lives and works in Ghent. The artist has taken part in exhibitions including documenta11, Kassel (2002), the Münsterland Skulptur Biennale, Münster, (2003), and the biennials of Istanbul (2003), Lyon (2005), Venice (2005, 2009), and Havana (2006). Tayou has exhibited at Kunsthalle, Vienna; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Grand Palais, Paris; the Talpiot Beit Benit Congress Centre, Jerusalem; Tate Britain, London; the Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Toulouse; and Hayward Gallery, London; among others. Solo exhibitions have been held at MACRO, Rome (2004), S.M.A.K., Gent (2004), International Film Festival, Rotterdam (2010), Goethe Institut Johannesburg (2010) and MAC, Lyon (2011), among others.

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