Julien Sinzogan, ‘ Sails of Return IX ’, 2012, October Gallery

About Julien Sinzogan

Julien Sizogan’s detailed paintings and drawings explore themes of migration and transitions between geographic sites and spiritual worlds. Born in Porto Novo, the capital of Benin that served as a major hub of the transatlantic slave trade, Sinzogan initially studied to be an architect. This career path led him to Paris, where he traded his original profession for drawing and painting. Still based in Paris, today he creates artwork that reflects his architectural background in its sketch-like marks and richly imagined forms. Drawing on his cultural heritage, Sinzogan distinguishes the worlds that he depicts by rendering visually contrasting realms: richly colored sections suggest the spiritual, while more schematic, sepia-toned areas allude to the earthly. Referencing a cyclical trajectory, Sizogan’s work stands as a striking visual and spiritual interpretation of Porto Novo’s role in the Middle Passage.

Benin, b. 1957