Jean-Baptiste Djeka


Born in Côte d’Ivoire in 1981. Lives and works in Bingerville, Côte d'Ivoire. 
“Dynamism arises from our differences.”

Djeka is a multi-talented visual artist: he paints, sculpts, practices photography, and creates art installations. He draws his inspiration from life: the physical and the spiritual, the visible and the invisible, the past, the present and the future.  His work reflects the culture and the environment he grew up in, as well as his insatiable quest of the unknown and his vivid imagination. 

 Every layer of Djeka’s paintings is imbued with symbolism. First, he mixes ground medicinal plants that he has selected for their specific properties into the paint to reinforce the connection between the artwork and the viewer. He then chooses bold colors for their meaning and adds texture, depth and movement through an array of media and techniques. Finally, characters are omnipresent. They look like African sculptures brought to life or individuals wearing masks and are accompanied by symbols, and sometimes writings, as if to orient the conversation between the artwork and the viewer.

Djeka is driven by his passion for the arts and his thirst for knowledge. Throughout his art studies and thereafter, he trained in the studios of renowned artists Diomande, Fadaïro, Augustin Kassi, Stenka and Yapi Roger. Over the past ten years, he has lived for long stretches of time in several countries across western Africa to immerse himself in their cultures and traditions. He is now studying music theory and the guitar at the Conservatory of Music in Abidjan.

Djeka’s work has been exhibited in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, the United Kingdom, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, and the USA, and is featured in numerous public and private collections. In March 2019, his work was the subject of an article in High Life, British Airways’ award-winning on-board magazine.

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