After having coordinated sales of contemporary African art at Piasa from 2016 to 2020 and at Artcurial in 2021 and 2022, Christophe Person, expert in modern and contemporary African art, is opening an eponymous art gallery at 39, rue des Blancs Manteaux in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, in the Marais, in the immediate vicinity of the Pompidou Center, the Pinault Collection, the Louvre and the future Fondation Cartier.
The Marais district has all the resources to show contemporary art and reinforce the perception of Africa in Paris.
The CHRISTOPHE PERSON gallery is part of the contemporary African art market which is currently being organized and which is important for the global dynamic. This is evidenced by the considerable number of opportunities for artists to create, to be interested in residencies, to participate in institutional events, such as biennials and exhibitions, especially in France with these creators of the African continent who are increasingly entering the collections.
The CHRISTOPHE PERSON Gallery offers a space of 100 m2 and proposes in parallel of the exhibitions, a shifted program of meetings, conferences and partnerships.
The CHRISTOPHE PERSON Gallery seeks to stage this double perspective which brings specialists to the understanding of the stakes of society, whether they are related to the questions of gender, climate or flows of goods and individuals between the North and the South and wishes to make the delicious offer in the creation, free of the propensities and the impacts of mode by introducing the art which upsets, which can convey a message which does not consent to give us to see the art which makes it possible to change our approach of seeing the world.
Christophe Person is a former student of HEC Paris and Christie’s Education London.
After a ten-year vocation in the financial field, he chose to devote himself to his first love by working on the art market and gaining practical experience of contemporary African art.
It is during various trips to Africa that Christophe Person nourishes his view of the contemporary scene of the continent. From 2016, he reinterprets sales by proposing listed and arranged offers, mandating the richness and variety of African creation while staging geologies and semi-secret periods.
Christophe Person is also involved in several projects in Africa. He is, with the Burkinabe artist-photographer Nyaba Ouédraogo, co-president and co-founder of the International Sculpture Biennale of Ouagadougou. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, which is planning the construction of the Bët Bi Museum in Senegal, and of the MAM Foundation, which is setting up the Suza Biennale to be held in January 2023 in the Douala region of Cameroon.
With the launch of this gallery, Christophe Person intends to unveil and advance current and contemporary artists from Africa and the Diaspora, who are essential to an innovative flow and who go beyond the patterns and particularities of style.
The CHRISTOPHE PERSON gallery accompanies artists whose direction is essential to the global history of art, who express their own view of society, informed by their stories and encounters.
“ EXPLORER L’INTIME ” : Wilfried Mbida and Manga Lulu Williams
On the occasion of the inaugural exhibition, the CHRISTOPHE PERSON gallery presents “ EXPLORER L’INTIME ” works by two artists Wilfried Mbida and Manga Lulu Williams.
Manga Lulu Williams
Born in Cameroon, Manga Lulu Williams places the social, political and societal context of his country at the heart of his practice. Since the age of 15, he is animated by his situation and the facts that surround him. His sharp eye and extraordinary compassion allow him to understand the individuals he encounters, to pay attention to them and to address them in the most real way.
Manga Lulu Williams trained at the Foumban School of Fine Arts, from which he graduated in 2018. There he focused on photography, psychology, human studies, and art history. This will apply an extensive impact on his creations and procedure.
For Manga Lulu Williams, it is difficult to envision an end to this conflict that produces benefits for the dissident groups. Out of this unhappiness, his enterprise was born: to become the representative of his people, the voice of the downtrodden.
In light of the protest, Manga Lulu Williams began to show side effects of gloom. He goes to the medical clinic where it is determined that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress.
There follows a long journey of recognition, repair and exchange, but also with other patients. In the face of these events and despite the serious blind spots in African culture around pain, many Cameroonians of all backgrounds have begun treatment since that time. Manga Lulu Williams goes to meet these people, whose stories are impregnated with the same scent of fear.
These stories are at the same time the one of the man met in the street, one of another on a seat of his house or this lady met in a conversation group who saw her spouse and her two children die.
Manga Lulu Williams paints the person. He sees this protest as a result of the lack of humanity and brotherhood that influences the entire planet. He approaches these characters in their most total aspect, with practically no indication of having a place with a specific population group.
Manga Lulu Williams accepts that his injury is continually available without the possibility of absolute repair. That is why he leaves the foundations incomplete. It is a way of offering the observer the chance to complete his work and thus become the representative of the abused populations.
Wilfried Mbida was born in Cameroon. She graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Nkongsamba, near Douala. After a bachelor’s degree in clothing industry in a specialized high school, she developed a keen sense of detail and point of view.
For her graduation project, she is interested in conventional rhythms. This work was introduced to the UK by Christine Eyene, curator of the Casablanca International Biennale.
She is initially motivated by the funeral rites in Betsi country, the Essani, and then, continually, her work becomes more metaphorical. She reflects on the home of the departed after his flight. When the ceremony ends, what is the feeling of these individuals who have lost a friend or family member?
Wilfried Mbida quickly understands that she has no idea of the interior of the places of the people around her. Motivated by the creations of Vilhelm Hammershøi and Edward Hopper, she needs to emphasize calm, tranquility and isolation.
In any case, her work is not melancholic. For her, it is the confidence, the despair, the implicit and the heaviness of society that makes people melancholic.
Wilfried Mbida is fixated on the idea of credibility. His work begins with photography and addresses the person in his authenticity, at that precise moment when he is separated from everyone else with himself, without anyone around to dazzle him.
Persuading family, companions and colleagues to be her models was not an easy task. Certainly, by a propensity acquired since colonization, the Cameroonian population has learned to keep quiet, to remain in its silence and to put itself very little forward. In case some might see this as a mystery, it is only prudence and reason. The interior of the house is, for Wilfried Mbida, the representation of the heart, of the inner life, of a preserved garden.
As an artist, Wilfried Mbida shows the opposite side of life: all that is most authentic, paints the calm, the houses and the individuals as they are.
Wilfried Mbida paints credibility, for that is what she is, a true artist with a solid and elusive inventive vision that stands out from the rest of the contemporary African art scene and leaves it up to the observer to describe what she has painted, for it is an emotional work that allows the outside eye to enhance her work with its own perspective, with a point that she, in the end, could not have seen.