An outstanding draftsman, JP Mika has long borrowed the themes and compositions of his elders and his mentor, Chéri Chérin. Like Chéri Samba before him, JP Mika’s paintings present self-portraits on a stage, or integrated into a group composition, still dressed as Sapeurs - Kinshasa’s dandy tradition. He has developed a unique style using colorful fabrics, often with a floral print, that serve as both canvas and backdrop. His portraits recall of Malick Sidibé’s photographs of the 1960s and 1970s. These distinctive elements, combined with unconstrained use of color, convey positive energy into his work, which is now profoundly differentiated from that of his peers. His hyper-real compositions, with incredible attention to detail, portray with tenderness a modern, dynamic and joyful Africa.
Meet him in discussion with Riason Naidoo (South Africa) – independent curator and writer – recipient of the Writing Committee of the Cité internationale des arts.
JP Mika (Democratic Republic of Congo) is a recipient of the Visual Arts Committees of the Cité internationale des arts. His exhibition at Galerie Magnin-A in Paris can be viewed until November 30, 2019.