Chéri Samba (Democratic Republic of Congo, born 1956) 'Je suis l'homme qui mange de la peinture' ('I am the man who eats paint')

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Lot 18W
Chéri Samba
(Democratic Republic of Congo, born 1956)
'Je suis l'homme qui mange de la peinture' ('I am the man who eats paint')

Sold for £ 12,500 (US$ 16,209) inc. premium
Chéri Samba (Democratic Republic of Congo, born 1956)
'Je suis l'homme qui mange de la peinture' ('I am the man who eats paint')
inscribed with title and 'et il faut comprendre que j'en al mange beaucoup avant que tu me connaises', signed and dated 'Cheri SAMBA/ d. 2005' (lower left)
acrylic and glitter on canvas
120 x 150cm (47 1/4 x 59 1/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Acquired by the current owners in Democratic Republic of Congo.


    This canvas bears the inscription 'Je suis l'homme qui mange de la peinture et il faut comprendre que j'en ai mange beaucoup avant que tu me connaises' ('I am the man who eats paint and you must understand that I ate a lot before you knew me'). The inscription both asserts the artist's success and references the many years of being unknown and under-appreciated.

    An autodidact, Cheri Samba is a firm advocate of innate artistic talent. In his studio, Samba offers advice and guidance to aspiring young artists, but urges them to find their own unique and distinctive technique. Samba criticises art academies for encouraging students to copy works by old masters. He argues that this perpetuates the bias towards Western artists and encourages students to become pale imitators "with no soul":

    "Art cannot be taught. An artist must show people what he has inside. Indeed, artists can change the world...but they have to find their own path."

    Samba found his distinctive style when he was working as an illustrator for the newspaper Bilenge Info. The popularity of his narrative paintings encouraged him to open a studio in Kinshasa's Ngiri-Ngiri quarter in 1975, where he still works today. Samba describes his art as 'popular painting' to distinguish it from the academic style. To use the artist's own words, his painting "comes from the people, is about the people, and is intended for the people".

    Please note: this work is accompanied by a signed certificate from the artist dated 8th May 2007.

    Bibliography
    A. Magnin (ed.), J'aime Cheri Samba, exh. cat., (Paris, 2004) p.18.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that Andre Magnin's 2004 exhibition catalogue was used in the research of this lot. The painting offered is not the one featured in his catalogue.
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