Kour Pour

Opulent visuals that chart and champion cultural exchange.

Kour Pour was born in 1987 in Exeter, UK, and now lives and works in Los Angeles, USA.

Did you know?

As a child Kour spent considerable time working in his father's carpet shop, memories of which have become a central component of his practice alongside an enduring interest in Hip-Hop and its associated modes of sampling.

At Auction

In 2015, at a Sotheby's auction in Qatar, an original painting by the artist was purchased for $162,500 USD - more than double its original estimate.

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Collaborations with this artist

Practice overview

Kour Pour creates paintings and prints that weave together three main elements: ornamentation, abstraction and repeated representational motifs. Together, these accumulate into complex, layered compositions on canvas and paper that feel simultaneously ancient and contemporary, Eastern and Western. At the crux of his practice is a methodology of appropriation: hieroglyphics are drawn from Ancient Egypt; small figures are depicted in the style of Persian miniature painting; arabic lettering recalls medieval Islamic manuscripts; swathes of bright colour elicit Abstract Expressionism and action art; and decorative borders evoke the 1970s Pattern and Decoration movement in America. Together, these eclectic aesthetic symbols accumulate to examine cultural development in a post-colonial age.

Pour intentionally mixes and distorts meaning. Prints are presented as if they are paintings, and explorations of colour and form appear abstract, when, in fact, they depict maps and systems. This, in parallel to his methodology of appropriation, echoes the histories of economic and cultural exchange that he draws from. For example the export of rugs on the Silk Road, the influence of Ukiyo-e prints on Impressionism (a phenomenon that was given the name Japonisme), and little-known nuances like the fact that tempura - considered quintessentially Japanese - was originally a Portuguese export. Continuing these legacies of cultural evolution, Pour’s artwork elucidates that culture is an ever-changing entity - a powerful reminder that art, ultimately, is a re-invention of what has come before.

“I want to make a strong and beautiful painting.” Kour Pour