Vincent Michea’s brightly coloured paintings operate as souveniers of Dakar’s past glories and visual documents of the city’s contemporary glamour. His pieces advertise Senegal like graphic postcards, using bold blocks of colour suggestive of comic strips or television show stills. The French-born artist chooses city views which focus on its jewels of modernist architecture and elegant people, to capture the city’s status as the pearl of West Africa.
Popular culture features heavily; album covers and portraits of ordinary and famous dakarois are amplified by using visual techniques borrowed from Pop Art. Particularly influenced by Roy Lichenstein, from whom he appropriates his hallmark Ben-Day dots, Michea re-enacts the foundational strategies of imitation promoted by American artists in the 1960s.
Senegalese musicians are paid homage to with hyper realistic reproductions of record covers on large canvases, evoking nostalgia for the remnants of ephemeral material culture. The same applies to the reworking of film stills taken from romantic French and Hollywood movies, where references to mass media are peppered with an acute sense of displacement and melancholia.