London

Calixte Dakpogan
Born in 1958 in Pahaou, Benin. Lives and works in Porto-Novo, Benin.
Calixte Dakpogan is a Beninese sculptor known for his anthropomorphic masks formed from salvaged materials. Born to a family of blacksmiths, he grew up in the Goukoumé district of Porto-Novo, Benin, a district dedicated to Ogun, the god of iron. West African Vodun heritage is intrinsic to his work, as is the practice of metalworking, which Dakpogan learned through his father by ancestral tradition. The abundance of car wreckages in Porto Novo has provided Dakpogan with an inexhaustible source of materials. Together with his brother Théodore, the pair regularly scavenges scrap car parts as material for their sculptural figures, following the lineage of early nineteenth century Fon artistry that saw a similar sculptural practice whereby figures were constructed using scrap iron. In 1992 the two brothers were commissioned by the Beninese government to create an extensive series of works for Ouidah 92: The First International Festival of Vodun Arts and Cultures, of which their contribution remains on permanent display. More recently, Dakpogan was included in MASKS at JGM Galerie in Paris, France, in 2014.
Calixte Dakpogan, 'Ayissoun', 2011, Plastic, copper, glass, iron and forelock, 40 x 28 x 21 cm, Courtesy of Magnin-A

Artists 2014