Chéri Samba
Congolese, born 1956
Represented by up-and-coming galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
Dare You To Look: Radical Realizations in Portraiture,
Burning in Water
Beauté Congo – 1926-2015 – Congo Kitoko,
Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
RMN Grand Palais

Chéri Samba was a founding member of the “Popular painting” school along with Pierre Bodo, his paintings exposing everyday life in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city, Kinshasa. His representative, often fantastical paintings incorporate graphic narrative and figures with text and word bubbles that address forefront social and political issues, including AIDS, social inequity, and corruption. Starting in the 1980s, Samba began to portray himself frequently and literally in his works, taking on a direct role as the reporter of his ideas and personal story. “I appeal to people’s consciences,” he says. “Artists must make people think.”