The works of Frédéric Bruly Bouabre are based on a cultural and regional heritage to which the artist remains attached. He often also asserts that the Krou tradition, a cultural community of Central-Western Côte d’Ivoire to which he belongs, is to be found at the heart of his work. By the same token, he relies on other cultural realties that he re-invents.

With the "bagnon" or "flirtatious eyes", Frédéric Bruly Bouabre helps to revive a tradition that is quickly disappearing. The literal translation of the word "bagnon" means handsome man. This is the cult of the handsome man who is chosen on the basis of pre-determined aesthetic values that are emphasized here in the work of the artist. The "bagnon" is characterized by a tall form, svelte shape, black, bronzed or light skin, beautiful eyes, wide forehead, noble nose, beautiful mouth, white teeth, long and perfect neck, small ears, rounded buttocks, well muscled legs and lithe arms. What sets the "bagnon" apart is the harmony of his body.

The "bagnon" enjoys special status and the entire village community is at his disposal. Brought out for village festivals, the "bagnon" is carried into the public square and only appears at the high point of the festivities. An excellent dancer, he is given an ovation by the men and women who throw scarves and who sometimes wipe his face. The practice of the "bagnon", once in decline, has been revitalized by the work of this artist.
Musée des Civilisations de Côte d'Ivoire
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