Vincent Michéa was born 1963 in the south of France. After graduating from the ESAG Penninghen graphic design school in Paris in 1986, he was employed as a graphic designer by the French Embassy in Senegal. Since then, he has been dividing his time between his Paris and Dakar studios.
Michéa was influenced mainly by his mentor, famous graphic designer Roman Cieślewicz, and by commercial advertising. Pop Art, which requires no emotional involvement but only playful manipulation of colorful images, is another clear influence on his work; Michéa asserts: “For many years I have tried my hardest to produce, to the extent of my strength, images that are perceptible to the eye without too many internal uproars and without exaggerated pathos.”
Moreover, Pop Art represents the end of subversion against the art world. Unlike Dada artists who deconstructed images in order to create a new artistic language, Michéa does not manipulate his photographs. He leaves them intact and constructs upon them. Cheerfully celebrating life in Dakar, Michéa’s photomontages are ensembles of photos of his daily life in the African metropolis, engulfed in the rhythms of West African music delivered by the clear shapes and colors of his paper cuts. For Michéa, “Africa” is not the exotic Other, but his lived experience. His work is not the product of a fantasy about the inhabitants of the “Black continent” but an ode to its people, especially Senegalese women.