Dominique Zinkpe

Dominique Zinkpè is one of Benin and Africa's most recognisable artists. Zinkpè 's work is highly influenced by his history and African surroundings. Although Benin is one of the most political stable countries within Africa it is unfortunately one of the poorest and underdeveloped. The country has a rich history, previously known as the Kingdom of Dahomey it has been a popular port since the 1700s predominantly for the slave trade. Although banned in Benin until recently Voodoo was a popular practise in Benin and is now recognised and celebrated in an annual Voodoo festival.

Although Zinkpè lived and worked in France for a couple of years he realised his inspiration lay in his origin and returned to Benin. His paintings have a surrealist quality, loose figures battle and swim on the paper. Zinkpè uses a mixture of oil, acrylics and found objects but does not fill the space leaving large areas of empty canvas. His paintings can be jarring and unsettling, informed by animism, catholism and his own internal struggles. Zinkpe's work received early recognition and is regularly shown internationally at prominent galleries and fairs.

Zinkpè was recognised early on with the Prix Jeune Talent Africa which was awarded to him at the Grapholie in Abidjan in 1993. In 2002 he won the Prix Umeoa at the 2002 Dakar Biennale.