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I was born on June 7, 1963 in Kinshasa, Congo, Africa. My parents were working there as co-operators for the Belgian government. I was still very young when I returned from Africa but it had influenced me deeply. The odours, noises, colours, contrasts, mysteries, brutality… I go back there regularly.

As a child, I followed my parents through Europe and an incalculable number of art museums. I was fascinated by the paintings of the great masters: Caravaggio, Goya, then Francis Bacon, Picasso… Continuing with such drawings and paintings to adolescence, I took some painting courses at an art academy but without any great interest resulting.

I then took another path for some time. For more than 15 years I worked in the world of business and also travelled extensively. I gradually stored the world onto my neurons. I amassed millions of images, lost and damaged glances, silences, violence, deaf, turbid water, combat. I sought to see what is hidden, to hear what is not said.

The world is not what we see on TV screens or in the glazed fronts of stores. It is in the stations, the airports, the waiting rooms of hospitals, the prisons, the rotting suburbs, the carpeted board rooms…






In 2004 I decided to really devote myself to painting, which I regard as my privileged means of expression. It was a rebirth. More than anything else, my painting is an complete act of combat, of rebellion. Rebellion defies our mortal condition, it struggles against the world, its hypocrisy, its formatting, its growing obscurantism. The signature of this combat is represented pictorially by a small agitated character, whom I call the Wado warrior, "le guerrier Wado”, and whom I restore from canvas to canvas using a stencil.

I do not have any precise pictorial plan when I start work. It's about an exchange between my brain and the canvas, with my hand as a tool for transmission. With this exchange, the canvas comes alive, becoming a particular, autonomous being. Some say that I paint masks, whereas I rather think I reinstate what is really behind the masks worn by humans, what they call their “face”. Others say I unearth craniums to which I give back a pretence of life by giving them some colour. I quite like this image.

In no way do I intend to paint something of beauty, pleasant to look at, in principle rejecting any idea of academism. I regard artistic creation as a search, an exercise of total freedom, unbounded, a way of passing on my view of the world. It is also the smell of combat. The greats, the true artists who went before us, were given this gift in order to show us the way.