Chola Flower
acrylic & mixed media on canvas

Dark idea for a badly lit youth

Kokian is French, and was born in Paris in 1971. After having spent his early childhood in Burma and Morocco Kokian and his family moved back to France and settled in the Paris region. The cultural shock was quite violent for Kokian due to the contrast between the Burmese and Moroccan cultures he had grown up with, and this new Western European culture. Already as a child, Kokian was a solitary child, with the habit of expressing himself exclusively through painting. Various local expositions from 1989 to 1994 allowed Kokian to gain some notoriety, but it is only in 1994 - once he had finished his studies and been exempt from doing his military service due to medical reasons - that he decided to focus solely on fulfilling his passion for painting. In 1994, his artistic expression migrated to the streets, as he discovered tagging and graffiti in the streets of Paris. His first small pieces had as a focus the denunciation of contemporary injustices. His work and life in the streets of Paris for those few months was a crucial point in the life of Kokian - In his eyes, society forgot and rejected him, leading him to extreme solitude and the decadence that followed. In 1995, Kokian left Paris to find refuge in New York, where he will be reborn artistically. As he meets people and exchanges thoughts and opinions in the streets of New York, Kokian forges his identity and art, and learns to express the strong messages of his time. It is at this time that he starts to glue drawings with small messages in the streets, starting what would become a recognizable feature and trademark of his. Up until 1997, Kokian participated in numerous informal expositions around the world. Due to his provocative style, the medias started to pay more attention to him, dedicating more and more airtime to portraying him. In order to be financially independent of his painting- and to continue to paint without any financial pollution or corruption - Kokian worked as a technical salesperson for Xerox and later for Canon France. It is Kokian s belief that an artist must adapt and meld into the society he lives in in order to better judge it. Parallet to his work, Kokian, kept affirming his views and opinions based on the theme Dark idea for a badly lit youth. Everything that Kokian did not accept, didn't understand, or refused was thrown into his work. Kokian saw the analysis of societys backstage as primordially important. In 2001, Kokians artwork was for the first time exposed on canvases at the ARTOZA gallery in Paris. Kokian has since then continued painting. His frequent expositions are set up where least expected, with the same need to make people think about society's many injustices. His works are now reknown worldwide, and can be found in numerous collections