Chéri Samba (b. 1956) is a self-taught painter from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Eldest son to a family of ten children, he left his village at the tender age of 16 to find work. Samba began painting advertising signs in Kinshasa and eventually opened his own studio just 3 years later. At the same time, the artist began illustrating for an entertainment magazine called Bilenge Info, a critical period that would come to define his signature style: paintings combined with text.
It didn’t take long before Samba’s art caught international attention, propelling his perception of the social, political, economic and cultural realities of everyday life in Kinshasa on the global stage. Though the themes explored often tend to be dark, Samba uses vibrant colors and glitter to soften the impact.
The artwork presented in our collaboration with Cheri Samba is part of the Fondation Louis Vuitton permanent collection. True to his style, Chéri Samba places himself at the center of “J’aime la couleur” to deliver a proclamation of universal fraternity amongst all people. By unrolling the ribbons of his own figure, Samba makes the statement that our individual differences should never be considered as points of human divide – one need only to look a little deeper to find commonality.
Supported Social Project
Art, education and skateboarding in South Africa
Project by Skateistan
Johannesburg, South Africa