Dominique Zinkpe

BENIN. 1969

Donimique Zinkpe was born in 1969 in Cotonou, Benin Republic and is one of the most recognizable contemporary artists to emerge from Benin. His works is influenced by the country’s rich history and his immediate African surroundings. Zinkpe’s paintings have a surrealist quality – loose figures battle and swim in the canvas. Nurturing fertile women often appear in Zinkpe’s work recalling themes of desire and motherhood. He uses a mixture of oil, acrylics and found objects on his canvas and leaves large areas of empty space. Zinkpe’s paintings can be jarring and unsettling, informed by animism, religion and his own internal struggles. Zinkpe’s sculptures are no less arresting. Many of them consist of assemblages of carved wooden ibeji dolls that emerge the Yoruba concept of twinship. He was awarded the Prix Jeune Talent Africa in 1993 and won the Prix Umeoa at the 2020 Dakar Biennale