Sapin Makengele

Born in 1980 in Kinshasa, Sapin is a self-taught Congolese popular painter. As a school boy he used to make realistic pen drawings for his classmates. In his early twenties he started working in the atelier of Chéri Chérin, where he mastered the art of painting. In his work, Sapin often depicts and comments upon the Kinois social and political lifeworlds. Yet the topics he deals with are not limited to the DRC. Since he exposed in the Biennale de Dakar for contemporary African art in 2006, Sapin’s work has been exhibited in different countries.

Sapin likes to work among people and he has held several painting performances. By placing his easel among a crowd, his painting (in the making) lures curious observers and becomes a topic of discussion for the passers-by. The performance triggers thoughts and elicits comments which Sapin translates into images. The result is a painted conversation, an exchange between the artist and the passers-by.

In addition to art, Sapin’s interests include Congolese history and music. He has been involved in different projects that combine art and academics. One of his painting performances resulted in a historical documentary entitled ‘Les Fantômes de Lovanium‘ on the student revolts of 1969-1971 in Kinshasa. Because of its (political) sensitivity, the documentary has not been screened in Congo yet.

Sapin is a father of six children and currently lives in The Netherlands.


Facebook page : Sapinart