Democratic Republic of Congo, b.1956

Chéri Samba

Chéri Samba (b. 1956, Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire) reveals in his paintings his perception of the social, political, economic, and cultural realities of DRC, exposing all facets of everyday life in Kinshasa. The works offer commentary on popular customs, sexuality, AIDS and other illnesses, social inequalities, and corruption. 

In 1972, at the age of 16, he left his village to find work as a sign painter in the capital Kinshasa. In 1965, he opened his own studio. After becoming an illustrator for the entertainment magazine Bilenge Info, he developed his signature style of combining paintings with text. In the early 1980s he began signing his paintings “Chéri Samba: Artiste Populaire”. Indeed, the popularity of his paintings soon went beyond Kinshasa’s city limits; by the mid-1980s his work was gaining...

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Biography

Chéri Samba (b. 1956, Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire) reveals in his paintings his perception of the social, political, economic, and cultural realities of DRC, exposing all facets of everyday life in Kinshasa. The works offer commentary on popular customs, sexuality, AIDS and other illnesses, social inequalities, and corruption. 

In 1972, at the age of 16, he left his village to find work as a sign painter in the capital Kinshasa. In 1965, he opened his own studio. After becoming an illustrator for the entertainment magazine Bilenge Info, he developed his signature style of combining paintings with text. In the early 1980s he began signing his paintings “Chéri Samba: Artiste Populaire”. Indeed, the popularity of his paintings soon went beyond Kinshasa’s city limits; by the mid-1980s his work was gaining an international audience. At this time, he became the main subject of his paintings. 

Samba’s was included in important exhibition Les Magiciens de la Terre (Curator: Jean Hubert Martin) at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1989, which made him known internationally. Followed by the Pompidou Center (Africa Remix), Fondation Cartier, Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, The Venice Biennale, Museum Kunst Palast in Dusseldorf, National Museum of African Art in Washington DC, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Provincial Museum Voor Moderne Kunst in Ostende, among others.

Artworks

3

Le vieux finaliste, 2017

Related Categories

21st Century Art / Acrylic on Canvas / Acrylic Paint / Acrylic Painting / Africa / African Art / Art of the 2000s / Art of the 2010s / Balanced Composition / Bright Colors / Congo / Contemporary African Art / Daily Life Experience / Economic Issues / Face/Body (Human Figures) / Figurative Painting / Inequality/Injustice / Kinshasa / Painting / Political Issues / Portrait Painting / Sexuality / Smooth and Flat Surface / Social Conflict / Social Issues / Socio-political Issues / Word as Image

Curriculum Vitae

Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Truth Tellers, Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York

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Curriculum Vitae

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Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Truth Tellers, Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York