What was it like growing up?
Growing up in a Gabonese and Congolese household has been an experience as captivating as it was inspiring. It has taught me enormously about who I am, where I come from and what I belong to. I have forged strong ties with Africa, especially Central Africa.
How does culture and identity influence your work?
For any artist inspiration comes from cultural belonging and lifestyle. I am inspired by life itself and everything that encompasses this, including men. Living in Gabon meant that I was immediately immersed in it all – I’m sensitive to what I see, the way I face life’s realities and social discrimination.
A degree in Banking and Finance isn’t the usual art path. How did you end up here?
My father had just cut me off and I had to earn money on my own. I started out shooting portraits and doing street photography.
After I graduated I had a hard time finding a job in the financial sector. I worked independently as a photographer for a year, before moving to Paris.
What do you like most about black and white photography?
Black and white speaks louder than colour. The colours in a picture can often be distracting, and sometimes we don’t truly discern the message the photographer wants to send. But with black and white the eye is focused on the essentials.
What is your earliest memory?
The coconut trees along the seashore of Libreville in Gabon, fresh air and the way the sunrays illuminated my skin.