Could you introduce yourself?
I am a Franco-Cameroonian, 40 years, I grew up in France and I live and work currently between Paris and London. Having always loved to draw, my wish was to ibtegrate in School of Fine Art in the end of my studies but due to lack of financial support, I have let this dream .
Then I traveled, ı went to United States and to England. It is during my first job of bartender in London that I met Paul Klee who is fallen under the charm of my sketches . He gave me great encouragement to integrate ın graphic design school in Oxford & Cherwill College ,they taught me the techniques of the graphic design.
I Had my graduation titled High National Diploma in 2004, I designed for friends and especially for my best friend, the slameur and poet Captain Alexander, ı was awarded the price Paul Verlaine of Academy French in 2015. I have directed the visuals for his collection of poems (African Diaspora and Negritude ) which was a resounding success. I was therefore led to his ascension.
In 2010, Captain Alexander has not left me the choice by organizing without my knowledge ,my participation to an exhibition in France. I expose today as well in France as in England , but also in South Africa and Senegal.
What triggered this desire to do this job?
As far as, I can remember, I’ve always had the weapon on the prowl . I am curious and I feel constantly the need to go elsewhere. To go to the United States was my dream. Like many young people of my age, the United States accounted for a eldorado with in mind the idea of the <<American Dream >>. But quickly I became disillusioned , my conclusion was disappointing as inequalities and discrimination were glaring.
I preferred to England with Oxford and London, magic city, open ,and ecclesiastical. It ıs as well as my installation in London and then the meeting with the Dj Paul Klee have changed the course of my life.
Your loved ones, have they always supported you in your choice?
My family has always regarded as someone of << special >>. I was the first of my siblings to travel, the first to make me a tattoo… My mother always encouraged and supported me but with safety and protection.. It was important in his eyes that I get my bachelor’s degree then then I will pursue university studies. She is today very proud of my background.
What are the artists that influenced you, that you admire?
The photographer Olivier Tuscan is without a doubt one which who has influenced me the most ,he is the one who gave me the desire to do this job. These photos controversial with staging are always original for the account of the Benetton brand affected me ,I love this idea to addressing the subjects taboo. The painter Basquiat, with his touch of madness, her colorful Works and his brouhaha which a priori does not mean anything but actually, it is one of my favorite artists.
Warhol, the central figure of the pop up art with his handling of the Colours and the photography, It is the ability to transform something normal in something sublime. Roy Liechtenstein for his comics side and Shepard Fairey for his slogans images but also a painter franco Hungarian Mambo, the urban artist D Face, the grafeur and American artist Jonone. These artists have given me the taste for their art.
As an artist, how would you define yourself?
I am a person who likes to communicate with the people.Artistically speaking ,I enrolled in the course Popart. This is a folk art rooted in time.A pop artist is inspired by the company and ,in particular the society of consumption, but also problems of society and politics.For my part ,to be a pop art artist meets the desire to know and understand what the individuals feel,I am an artist that aspires to make your smile but also think about it. I am inspired by everything that surrounds me, from the news, my joys and sorrows, all of this echoes in my art. My art is playful mental ,physical but especially human. My areas of predilection are the poster and the Print.I love to create scenes with characters that would illustrate my idea.I draw in my computer before printing and to put them under glass to give relief effect or to recreate on the canvas.
It is said of me that I am currently the only pop artist of African descent in my generation. I am a bit scared but at the same time it is encouraging for young people who do not dare to believe in their dream. Indeed, I am suburban,I dared to believe in my dream,I worked hard in this direction, and today ,my work is recognized.
How are you working ? What are the steps of your creation?
It is difficult for me to explain in a rational manner how appear the idea because it comes out of nowhere.This idea is interesting because as an effect of power,I feel the need to scribbling ,ı can do a lot of sketches for not that in keep one ,finally. Once the subject stopped, the stage goes up,I do sketches of characters,ı researched about the subject, then I am ready to market the poster.
I love all the phase of creation, the emergence of the idea especially when I find it crazy and unfeasible:the doodle and the achievement about computer, because the work becomes real .
At this stage, ı can’t wait to see the work finished, and to discover the reaction of the public. Each of the steps is captivating. I like to create in spontaneous way but it can happen to me to work on command. If this the case, at the reception of the topic, I am off the topic, I put it on side in order not to be conditioned to return to it later.
What is the greatest work of your creations?
I have several Works that I consider them as majör but I ‘ll mention two of them for different reason.The Virgin Mary ,because it represents my youth and my maturity.This poster refers to the World of fashion.I was afraid to Show it to my mother who is believer since I had represented this religious symbol with a red lip and a big chance in gold Louis Vuitton, but against all odds, my mother loved it. Maturity ,in the sense that I grew up in a religious family, I did catechism, and I took awareness that everything I had been taught the good vs evil, Heaven vs hell was not as simple and linear in the real life of every day .I went through a lot of questions and handing-over in questions.
The second work, important for me is the ‘’Yes WE KANYE" , an allegory of a part of yes We can for Obama, the fact of being and impossible success.Then the Word game with the name of the rapper Kanya West but also the following metaphor : How transfigure the egocentrie of two people, their africanness, their taste for clothing, but also their personality-very ‘’ Edgy’’.
For the first time,I showed how I could deconstruct and restructure of the characters, this resulted in diverse and various interpretations depending to the individual. The feedback has been positive. And then four years after,s ee this slogan , used during the Obama campaign, was just amazing.
Are you in any associations, groups, collectifs, and other artists?
I am a founding member of the collective ‘’It was slame on the moon’’ with my childhood friend and Brother Captain Alexander. I am a member of association melting pot that work in six countries.The mission is to help to deprived populations in under developed zones around four points necessary for the development : rehabilitation health, nutrition and social insertion.
I also support the collective ‘’ Dare Africa’’ The purpose of which is to bring young African people together on the continent and the diaspora with the will and the determination to build prosperous Africa.