Marc Padeu

Finally.

African art is being recognized.

Collectors, museums, are starting to buy African art.

It is on the same trajectory as Mexican art once was.

Mexican art used to be heavily influenced by European art, Mexican artists spending time in Europe, studying European art and then applying the insights and knowledge to their own art upon returning to Mexico.

But one, among others, monumental Mexican artist changed that – Diego Rivera. He developed his own unique style, rooted in Mexican history and culture.

Voila, Mexican artists gained a foothold in their own country and later throughout the world, especially Europe.

And now history is repeating itself with African art.

European collectors and galleries buying, showcasing, African art.

And North American collectors and galleries are taking notice.

Marc Padeu is part of the trend.

Only 32 years old, his is eagerly sought by collectors and museums.

His prices have gone through the roof. Pieces that once were available for $20,000 are now fetching $100,000 plus, all in a matter of a few years.

Padeu, who hails from Cameroon, has had exhibitions in Germany and his work has been acquired for the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada, and the National Gallery, London, England.

He also has had several exhibitions at public art institutions in his native Cameroon.

Padeu’s art in the early stages used simple colours – white, black, yellow and some orange.

That changed to multi-coloured, bright, dramatic, vivid.

Many of his works work question the memory of the past and the relation to the spiritual in current African societies.

His works appear in the permanent collection of the World Bank Washington and private collections in the West.

Padeu was graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts (IBA) at Douala University in Nkongsamba. He lives and works between Douala and Nkongsamba in Cameroon.

His perspective – what he paints, why he paints.

“I want to paint the daily life of the people around me, my family and friends. Since we all live together, I share their moments of joy, but also their sadness. Everything is not perfect, there are a lot of difficulties. However, I don’t feel obsessed with just showing this state of affairs. When I manage to capture a moment of joy, a slice of happiness that is just as perfect. In a way, painting their lives allows me to talk about my own life. I cannot work without historical and religious references in my painting. History is my passion and religious belief has always been very present all around me.