Homepage Dieudonne Otenia














The artist Born on 3th January 1964 in Cotonou (Benin), Dieudonne OTENIA is a Beninese painter and decorator.

Fond of literature, philosophy and arts, he attended linguistics courses in the College of Letters, Arts and Humanities of National University of Benin.

He graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Art in languages didactics.

In 1989, he settled in Duala (Cameroon) where he studied philosophy and theurgy.

He met the Cameroonian poet and patron Emmanuel TSEMO, who supported him and helped him to organize several art exhibitions.

He left Cameroon and settled in Berlin (Germany) in 1993. There, he studied Art therapy and Art pedagogy at “Hochschule der Kunste Berlin”.

A decisive meeting in his life as an artist took place in 1987 with the philosopher, historian and Egyptologist Jean Charles Coovi GOMEZ.

He appropriates the concept of self-referentiality developed by the scholar and moved his work towards this direction.

Television studio decorator in Cotonou (Benin) from 1983 to 1989, he taught literature and theory of art in Benin, in Cameroon, in the French Institute of Berlin for fifteen years, before turning towards interior decoration.

He worked as a decorator in the interior construction of the presidential aircrafts at the Hamburg construction site of Airbus Industry in 2001 and in the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria for the company of decoration and interior construction Bergenthal based in Stuttgart in Germany.

With his friend Phillipe ABAYI, illustrator, painter and brilliant sculptor, he won the competition for the design of the monument “the door of return” as part of Cotonou’s west coast development in 2000.

He moved to France in 2007 where he continued his journey on the “indispensable nothings” mentioned by Renoir.

Artistic approaches and works in Dieudonne OTENIA’s works, it is the color that expresses itself, it is the color that gives life to some sections of life which the artist strives to put light on. The forms and emotions that they arouse, are embodied in the artist, they are melted in a unit brought to life by a selection of colors which he alone has the secret.

The basic concept about which are constructed, are defined and are deployed his works is that one of self-referentiality.

<< Self-referentiality, for me, is to over-focus my artistic productions on the set of identity, cultural and historical values that define me as a social being and as an actor of civilizational values of the black world.

My work depicts the meeting of oneself through an inner, spiritual and cultural path. That is the foundation of my paintings.

Without withholding, I paint with oil paint on canvas or on wood, moment of life, the instants of my world that I take to heart, and I'd like to restitute and share under the touches of my spatulas. >>

In short, his work is an invitation to share his way of communicating his interiority with the interiority of things, his way of lightening portions of life’s beauty.

He realized several individual and collective exhibitions.

Among his individual exhibitions are the exhibitions at the hotel Akwa palace of Duala, at the maritime museum of Duala, at the Hilton hotel in Yaounde (Cameroon), at the Espace GOA in Cotonou, at the Marina gallery in Lome (Togo), at Bellevue gallery in Berlin, at Chamber of Crafts and Professions of La Roche-sur-Yon (France).

His works are also found in

the VIP lounge of Benin international airport of Cotonou,

the offices of the Benin National Shippers’ Council (in French : Conseil National des Chargeurs du Bénin),

the Central Bank of West African States (in French : Banque Centrale des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest).

" My goal by painting is not to express

the command of pictorial technique.


For me, it is to go through myself,

to communicate with the interiority of things,

to put light on the moments of life,

through an aesthetic path unique to my biography,

which itself is the resultant of obstacles,

failures and the quintessential values that made me.

My road as a creator is marked by subjective standards

that trace the adventure of my life.


And my work depicts my incurable marginality,

my torments and my thirst for exaltation, I mean,

my need for ecstasy towards beautification. "





Virtual Exhibition of works by the painter Dieudonne OTENIA




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