7 Questions to Claudie Titty Dimbeng

We continue this week our 7 questions with the talented painter of Franco-Ivorian origin, Claudie Titty Dimbeng. It is with joy that the artist agreed to talk to us about her artistic universe, without taboo and without any language. Discover without further delay her interview!


Hello Dimbeng, you are a painter born in the Ivory Coast, settled in Paris for almost 34 years now, what is your background?

I was born to a Franco-Ivorian mother and an Ivorian father, whose duties led me to live my early childhood in Germany and my adolescence in Austria. After graduating from the French Lycée in Vienna in 1986, and completing a preparatory course in art at the Académie Charpentier, I studied interior design at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Modernes in Paris. When I decided in 1999 to devote myself fully to painting, I was trained by the painters Valérie Gervais N'dri and Valentin Caro.


Tell us about the concept of your art?

My territories of origin, adoption and passage have led me to create Mixed Art Relief, an artistic concept that highlights my origins and promotes intercultural dialogue. This is done through a mixed technique, inspired by Vohou Vohou, which uses materials such as tapa (bark cloth) and raffia to create an abstract or figurative work. The fusion of materials and paint, mainly oil, creates an organic matter that connects me to nature and the earth.


Dimbeng, Abysses, 2019 Huile- acrylique- enduit- tapa- raphia sur toile, 100 x 81 cm. Série "Derrière l'eau". Courtoisie de l'artiste et Louisimone Gallery

Claudie Titty Dimbeng is known for painting works whose central theme is women, why did you choose this theme for your works?

Women, and in particular Afro-descendants, because they suffer from double discrimination linked to their sex and their skin color; women because they are victims of violence to the point of being used as a weapon of war; women because they are the pillars, they carry humanity and because they are the beginning, the source and the end.

I have dedicated 3 series exclusively to women, on the theme of the Gynoecium, which I define as a space of exchange, learning and sisterhood around our role in the family, our place in society and our contribution to the construction of the world, as well as our pleasure and sexuality.

I also address our impact on the planet, African spirituality and issues related to current events, such as in the series "Behind the Water" on the dramas related to migration, "Drunkenness" made during the 1st confinement, or "The Drop" following the murder of George Floyd.


Dimbemg, Je suis une femme, 2015, oil-acrylic-coating-tapa- raffia on canvas 100 x 100 cm. Series "The Gynoecium III". Courtesy of the artist.

You have exhibited in several countries, the Ivory Coast, France, notably at the headquarters of UNESCO, in India, in Norway, etc. What do you retain from these different places where you have exhibited?

Each trip, through human, artistic and cultural encounters nourishes my being, my reflection and my work, and thus contributes to enriching the Mixed Art Relief. What I remember is the power of art as a universal language, through the look of my works, and the emotion they arouse. Painting is a primordial means of expression that allows me to transmit my vision of the world in countries as diverse and distinct as those you mention.


Dimbeng, Ivresse 3, 2020, oil-acrylic -coating -tapa -raphia on canvas, 130 x 97 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Demif Gallery

In your opinion, how does one become a successful artist?

I don't have a recipe for being a successful artist, but I can share with you a few thoughts on being an artist. Artists are the transmitters of dreams or realities that we reveal or sublimate. The goal for me is to transmit emotion through themes that touch, and through a style and a universe of my own.

Being an artist is 1% inspiration and 99% work.


Do you have a mentor?

About 15 years ago, I met Valentin Caro, a Spanish painter and writer who has been living in Paris for more than 30 years, just like me. He trained me in certain painting techniques, notably sfumato and plaster making. I was very proud to exhibit alongside him in 2015 for the exhibition "The First Man was a Woman" at Bab's Galerie, but I still consider him my mentor, as he constantly pushes me to improve and challenge myself.


Dimbeng and Madame Irina Bokova, Director General of Unesco (from 2009 to 2017), Africa Week 2013, courtesy of the artist.

What are your current projects?

I am currently working on a series that started with the desire to get out of my usual frame, a consequence of the first confinement. The starting point is an experiment that consists of painting with gravity by jets of paint at 15 meters high. This second confinement will not only have an impact on the finalization of these paintings, but it also projects me towards my next series, with a desire to connect to nature and the elements.

As for exhibitions in 2021, I will be participating in the Sussex Art Fair with my London gallery Demif Gallery, and a program is underway with the LouiSimone Gallery.

All of this is subject to the evolution of the health situation related to the Covid 19 epidemic.


www.dimbeng.com