Barthelemy Toguo b 1967, Cameroon.
Primarily a painter, this African artist lives between his home country and France.
Besides his watercolour paintings he also works on sculptural installations, film, photography and prints. His major theme he is concerned with is the flow of people and merchandise between the developing world and the West. Displacement is at the centre of his work.
Barthelemy Toguo's own pieces have found their way into many private collections and public museums around the world.... like MOMA NY, Fondation Louis Vuitton and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. He has exhibited in many major exhibitions, both solo and group, in cities like Lyon, Dusseldorf, Lisbon, Venice, Sydney and Havanna.
His watercolours' soft, painterly approach often belies the harshness of their content. Barbed wire, nails in bodies, toxins of life protruding from orifices... the gruesome acts are not always easy to view.
But his work concerning ecological and human issues are governed by his overriding sense of ethics and morality and this comes through the brutality of some of the pieces. In the piece below an array of human figures are intertwined with words from the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Extremely close to his heart is his art centre he built in Bandjoun, Cameroon which has a space for galleries, studios, a library and a conference room.