in Interviews | 12 MAY 05
Featured in
Issue 91

Samuel Fosso

Samuel Fosso's photographs were included in the recent 'Africa Remix' exhibition at London's Hayward Gallery. 'Platform for Art' is showing three works by Samuel Fosso at Gloucester Road Underground station, London until 13 June 2005.

in Interviews | 12 MAY 05

What images keep you company in the space where you work?
Photographs by William Klein, a reproduction of an image of Lotte Jacobi from 1928, me at the Barbican Gallery in London beside a Picasso portrait, a print of one of my self-portraits from the cover of my monograph book, a large advertisement for ‘Africa Remix’ with a reproduction of my photograph Le Chef (2003).

What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?
Was it really a piece of art? I don’t know. It was in 1974 when I discovered beautiful photographs of Jimmy Cliff in a magazine.

If you could live with any one piece of art what would it be?
I do live with it: a small ebony sculpture representing a hippopotamus that someone offered to me in 1994 in Mali.

What film has most influenced you?
It is not a film but a TV series, Inspector Derrick.

What is your favorite title of an artwork?

What do you wish you knew?
When I, and other artists, will have in our country [the Central African Republic] enough professional support and facilities to allow us to do our job.

What should change?

What should stay the same?

What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do?
I would still be running my small photo studio, here in Bangui.

What music are you listening to?
Congolese Rumba (Koffi Olomidé, Papa Wemba) and Cameroonese Makossa (Manu Dibango, Petit Pays).

What are you reading?
International fashion magazines for the aesthetics and Jeune Afrique for general information.

What do you like the look of?
Elegance, beauty.

What is art for?
Art is the high communication without words.