Chéri Samba was born the Democratic Republic of Congo. Currently living and working out of Kinshasa, Samba began his career as an artist without any formal education, starting out as a sign painter before joining Moké and Bodo, along with his younger brother Cheik Ledy. Together they run one of the most popular schools of painting.
Samba’s paintings expose everyday life in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city, Kinshasa. Borrowing the use of word bubbles from comic-strip art, Samba was able to further develop his use of narrative through the combination of paint and text.
In 1979 Samba participated in the exhibition Moderne Kunst aus Afrika, organised in West Berlin as part of the first Horizonte-Festival der Weltkulturen.
Other exhibitions include The Global Contemporary Art Worlds After 1989 (Zentrum für Kunstund Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Germany: 2011-2012); JAPANCONGO, Carsten Höller’s double-take on Jean Pigozzi’s collection at Le Magasin, Centre national d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France (2011); Why Africa? (Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, Italy: 2007-2008); Popular Painting from Kinshasa (Tate Modern, London, UK: 2007-2008). In 2007 Samba participated in the 52nd Venice Biennale, Universes in Universe (Venice, Italy); and in 2004 was included in the travelling exhibition Africa Remix: Art contemporain d’un continent (Germany, UK, France, Tokyo: 2004).