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Samuel Fosso Exhibits his Iconic TATI Images in Paris

Samuel Fosso Serie TATI la femme américaine liberee des annees 70

In 1997, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the famous Barbès store Tati commissioned Samuel Fosso with a series of black and white photographs he was to take of people passing by the store; in a creative elan, the artist rejected the directions and shot a witty series of colorful self portraits....

Samuel Fosso, a renowned contemporary African photographer, is on exhibition at the Christophe Person Gallery in Paris. The gallery specializes in modern and contemporary African art, therefore supporting artists with a personal perspective on society, such as Samuel Fosso. To inaugurate this collaboration, the gallery is exhibiting the complete series titled “TATI”. The emblematic series is vibrant with colors and playful clothing. He depicts iconic characters by going beyond all limitations and imaginations that surround them, from the bourgeoisie to the rocker, passing through the pirate, the golfer, and the businessman. Samuel Fosso, uses his image in disguise to toy with Western clichés and even politics. Because, beyond this happy and bright masquerade, a visible political dimension develops.

Samuel Fosso Serie TATI La bourgeoise

IRK Magazine is captivated by the daring self-portraits in disguise that Fosso has been creating since the age of 13 when he started taking self-portraits to please his grandmother. Samuel Fosso was born in 1962 in Cameroon and was a survivor of Nigeria's civil war. In a photo studio he opened in Bangui (Central African Republic) he advertised "With Studio Photo Nationale, you will be beautiful, chic, delicate, and easy to recognize." During the day, he answers client requests for official shots, group portraits, and immortalizes life events. However, when night falls, he staged himself with the leftover film he shot during the day.

Samuel Fosso Serie TATI Le chef celuiqui a vendu l'Afrique aux colons

Samuel Fosso is an important portrait pioneer. He developed the form about 50 years before it became the chosen mode of expression for contemporary African artists, who are today sought after by collectors. Samuel Fosso's self-portraits can be found in the collections of the most prestigious institutions, including Tate Modern, MoMA, the Georges Pompidou Center, and the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac. It was never shown in galleries or at fairs until recently, making it inaccessible to individual collectors.

Samuel Fosso's collaboration with the gallery Christophe Person is highly anticipated, as his self-portraits are rare on the market. His unique and provocative style makes this exhibition an absolute must-see. Samuel Fosso: "TATI" is on exhibition MAY 16 - JUNE 17 2023 at GALERIE CHRISTOPHE PERSON 39 rue des Blancs-Manteaux 75004 Paris

Samuel Fosso Serie TATI Le pirate

1 Comment

Scott Powers
Scott Powers
Oct 18, 2023

Photography is a captivating art that beautifully captures life's fleeting moments. It's a visual diary of emotions, memories, and stories. If you want to explore the power of photography, check out this insightful article at, celebrating the International Kissing Day through the lens of talented photographers.

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