Like a jazz player, Ouattara Watts is a man of improvisation. Starting from the center of the canvas, he lets himself be guided from east to west, north to south, by multiple influences. He says he is sensitive to artists who open new windows on the world by their style of painting, such as Pablo Picasso or Cy Twombly. Like them, Watts is caught between two worlds which he succeeds in uniting upon the canvas.
Watts paints cryptic ideograms into his work, from multicultural symbols and floating abstractions to numerical and scientific equations. Bringing together his African origins with the experience of the Western world, his paintings juxtapose elements from these two universes, suggesting many interpretations that grant an insight into his social and historical roots.
Watts mixes materials on the canvas, creating vibrant paintings which evoke the ancestral land of Africa, including objects that he collects during various trips. Although critics try to include him in the neo-expresisonist group, Watts' work in the 1980s is beyond comparison.