Last month, I was out and about visiting friends and family, thus took advantage of being in bigger cities to go see some art. The exhibition I loved the most was all about African artists :
Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier at the Vuitton Fondation
If you are in Paris before the 28th August of 2017, go see this exhibit, it is certainly one of the best I’ve seen in the last years.
If not, I took a few notes and made a few pictures, so saddle up, this is going to be a long post… well actually 2 posts! So stay tuned for the following post!
Romuald Hazumé, Bénin
Masques en bidons d’essence / Masks of oil canisters
The idea here is to transform trash into art, but also to point out the illegal traffic of oil.
Chéri Samba, République du Congo
One the big figures of African art, Chéri Samba paints figuratively with great skill and lots of humor. It is often about what is happening in Africa and the world : politics, society, ecology.
He also loves working with colors, which shows in his artworks and always adds text.
One of his paintings is a humorous way to tell how little African art finds recognition on the international market, it says:
“Enfin après tant d’années nous sommes aussi au musée!” (finally, after all these years, we too are at the museum!”)
Another one, made shortly after the 11 September of 2001 shows a lot of deaths and says:
“Nous ne sommes pas des morts. Nous sommes l’image vivante de la diplomatie bafouée. L’avenir en jugera.” (We are not dead. We are the living picture of tainted diplomacy. The future will be judge.)
“Little Kadogo” tells the story of an armed child used for war. The child says:
“I am for peace, that is why I like weapons”
Rigobert Nimo, République du Congo
He uses found objects and trash and transforms these into science-fiction inspired structures. These models are filled with imagination and creativity and often move and give light. Absolutely mesmerizing.
He wishes to give a creative spirit to young Congolese.
Seni Awa Camara, Sénégal Bignona
Seni Awa Camara works in ceramics, a skill she learned from her mother who was a potter.
Her work focuses on sculptures that mix humans and animals, usually about maternity or fertility. The often showcase a mother or a couple and what seems like many children. They really radiate happiness.
Calixte Dakpogan, Bénin
Inspired by voodoo but also his encounter with Romuald Hazumé, he creates masks from found objects and cheap products made in China.
John Goba, Sierra Leone
He grew up in a secret society of women, the “Bondo Society”, and starts working as an artist at the age of 30, after a “revelation”. He sculpts wooden figures, inspired by traditional art, however he encircles his sculptures with porcupine spikes to protect them. They all have a story that he keeps for himself.
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Côte d’Ivoire
He started making a drawn encyclopedia of the world, notably about the stories beside scarifications.
Bodys Isek Kingelez, République Démocratique du Congo
Essentially creating buildings and cities and offering a reflexion about the future of african metropoles. He built an ideal city that he named Kimbembele Ihunga, a homage to his home village.
His artworks are very colorful and give off a very positive vibe.
Moke, République Démocratique du Congo
Realistic painter who creates exuberant, colorful paintings of the popular night life.
JD Okhai Ojeikere, Nigeria
A photographer who was interested in documenting the cultural heritage in collections of pictures.
Notably a collection of Nigerian hairstyles photographed all in the the same style.