Joël is one of the finest artists on the African continent and enjoys international critical acclaim with his paintings and multi-media works. He lives and works in Douala, Cameroon, and studied fine arts in Amiens, France. He was a visiting artist at the Bag Factory in Fordsburg, Johannesburg. Some of his exhibitions include, “Rendez vous”, which was the highlight of the 2006 Dakar Bienniale of African Contemporary Art in Senegal. He also participated in the Lines of Connections exhibition, organized by the MTN Art Foundation in 2001, alongside William Kentridge, Kendell Geers and Samuel Fosso. He has held solo and group exhibitions in Cameroon, Austria, Senegal, France, Cuba, Lebanon, Kenya and the United States.
Joël is preoccupied with art and experimentation in art. He is inspired by the tactile reality of his environment but is mostly an inner traveler. He works on paper, canvas, corrugated iron and most recently perspex, mixing earth, colors, clay, packaging, wood and chalk inscriptions and scratching. He explores the fragility of individual human identity and how it reinvents itself while moving and evolving in the city. He suggests that in the process, this delicate ‘self’ is taking control through conflict with society and its institutions, and draws his own history and destiny in the light of other human connections and relationships.
The marks and abstracted gestures of this contemporary mixed media artist reflect the synthesis of his life as a modern man, who exhibits internationally, yet chooses to live in his home nation, Cameroon. His unique artistic style and international perspective presents the viewer with both mystery and familiarity. He has an uncommon gift of synchronizing conflicting elements, balancing power and delicacy, medium and emotion, French and Doualan, the traditional and the modern; merging a myriad of influences to create unforgettable images on canvas, paper, aluminum and perspex.