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from 09/30/2007 to 11/30/2007


"Black artist, constantly revolted by the injustices done to his people. A black artist who had created a black pantheon of musicians and sportsmen. A black American artist, he had created an ideal Africa for himself, found in books. But first and foremost a universal artist, with his youth now eternal, Basquiat had to be present there, today, in Africa, and melt into it." Enrico Navarra


For the first time, gallery owner Enrico Navarra decided to lend part of his collection of drawings by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat to the Fondation Zinsou. A loan of the utmost importance. Jean-Michel Basquiat, the first black artist to be exhibited in a museum, is also one of the world's best-selling contemporary artists. By exhibiting him at the Fondation Zinsou, we were able to place Benin on the international contemporary art scene.

From September 30 to November 30, 2007, the Fondation Zinsou presented 70 drawings by the artist. The exhibition had a clear educational purpose. To give the Beninese public access to this contemporary creation, the Fondation chose to introduce them to a world of creation, and to develop in educational rooms a number of themes and influences that shed light on the artist's work: drawing, tagging, cartoons, anatomy, boxing, jazz, black American heroes...

A travelling section of the exhibition was on display at Place Lénine, Cotonou, from October 13 to November 30, 2007, presenting the artist's involvement in street art through a series of 30 photographs and a wall of free expression.

Several activities were organized around these two exhibitions:

Patrick Ruffino's private and semi-private concerts, a space for artistic creation, a wall of free expression inaugurated by Beninese visual artists and orphans from the SOS village, hip hop dance classes, a hip hop dance competition, and free open-air cinema screenings.

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