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Biography of Chéri SAMBA

Congo-Kinshasa > Arts : Chéri SAMBA

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Born on 30/12/1956 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Samba wa mbimba n'zinga nurimasi mdombasi,called "chéri samba'"(b. December 30,1956) is a painter from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Chéri Samba was born in Kinto M’Vuila as the elder son of a family of ten children. His father was a blacksmith and his mother a farmer. in 1972, at the age of 16 he left the village to find work as a sign painter in the capital Kinshasa.

In 1975 he opened his own studio. At the same time he also became an illustrator for the entertainment magazine Bilenge Info. It is at this time when he develops his signature style of combining paintings with text. His work earns him some local fame. His breakthrough was the exhibition Les Magiciens de la Terre at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1989, which made him known internationally.

In regard to contents and form, Chéri Samba's painting is charcterized by the immediate concern with Congo's social reality in respect to his personal existence as an artist. His paintings imbued with political awareness , are always representational , realistic, and their bright colors come from the use of acrylic paint. His canvases use a cartoon like style together with the subtle synthesis of advertising images , verbal inventiveness, drawn especially from he cinema. His themes are "customs, sexuality, illness, social  inequalities, corruption.etc,,,,,,,,,,,,,"

Last update : 07/08/2008

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