artist Born on 3th January 1964 in Cotonou (Benin),
Dieudonne OTENIA is a Beninese painter and decorator.
of literature, philosophy and arts, he attended linguistics
courses in the College of Letters, Arts and Humanities
of National University of Benin.
graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Art in languages
1989, he settled in Duala (Cameroon) where he studied
philosophy and theurgy.
met the Cameroonian poet and patron Emmanuel TSEMO,
who supported him and helped him to organize several
left Cameroon and settled in Berlin (Germany) in 1993.
There, he studied Art therapy and Art pedagogy at “Hochschule
der Kunste Berlin”.
decisive meeting in his life as an artist took place
in 1987 with the philosopher, historian and Egyptologist
Jean Charles Coovi GOMEZ.
appropriates the concept of self-referentiality developed
by the scholar and moved his work towards this direction.
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.
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
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.
moved to France in 2007 where he continued his journey
on the “indispensable nothings” mentioned by Renoir.
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.
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.
work depicts the meeting of oneself through an inner,
spiritual and cultural path. That is the foundation
of my paintings.
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
realized several individual and collective exhibitions.
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).
works are also found in
VIP lounge of Benin international airport of Cotonou,
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).