“ We need to let the artwork breathe. We cannot lock it into a given interpretation. I leave it to you, the viewer, to imagine why a specific medium was used, what the narrative is and what impact it achieves.”
Camille Tété Azankpo is a “visual art surgeon.” He cuts, shapes, punctures, stitches. Under his scalpel, layers of wood and metal are given a new purpose. Juxtaposed, superimposed, affixed with huge staples, they take us beyond simple aesthetics and visual effects. The assembling and reassembling of these strong materials speak to the breakdown of barriers between humans - whether visible or invisible – and highlight the need for unity and understanding.
The enamel basins in Azankpo’s work were originally acquired by women for their aesthetic appeal and the symbolism of their motifs - fruits, fish, peacocks, hunters, political figures, flowers, tigers, symbolizing prosperity, luck, and individual or collective affinities. The basins were a critical part of their owners’ history - they carried dowries, bathed their children, held food shared among families, and transported goods sold at the market. Azankpo’s unique repurposing and reimaging of these household objects – giving them another life - is unparalleled.
A self-taught artist, Camille Tété Azankpo has exhibited in Austria, France and Germany, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and several other countries. One of his pieces is touring the world with Lumièresd’Afriques, a traveling exhibition which began its journey in Paris in 2015.