Known for his portraits on floral fabrics, JP Mika is the champion of joyful art. His vintage-style paintings have a nostalgic and happy tone. A unique hand aided by an unusual brand of inspiration.

JP Mika_Portrait _Galerie Angalia
© Emmanuel Fagnou, 2018

Born in Kinshasa (DRC) in 1980. Divides his time between France and DR Congo.

Jean-Paul Nsimba Mika has a great gift for drawing and started out at the very young age of 13 painting advertising boards to earn a little money. He enrolled later in life at ABA in 2005 and graduated in 2007. Chéri Chérin then took him under his wing and gave him the opportunity to travel abroad for the first time to exhibit his work in Bilbao in 2008.

Mika’s artistic development then got underway, as he gradually forged his own pathway, freeing himself from the influence of his teacher. He slowly left behind narrative figure painting, switching his attention to simplifying compositions. He began to produce portraits inspired by the portrait photos taken in the 1960s by the major African photographers. His portrayals have a deliberately old-fashioned feel, and a dash of humour, nostalgia, and even gentleness. And above all, from 2013 he painted them on floral fabrics. This great find cemented his style.

Mika is happy to depict himself, with the skilfully controlled extravagance unique to Congolese artists. The poor child from N’Djili gets the public to bear witness to his dream. His dream came true in 2015, when he triumphed at the Fondation Cartier Beauté Congo exhibition (July 2015-January 2016).

He has been one of the leading lights of African art since the exhibition.

In situ