Romuald Mevo Guezo, considered one of Benin's most significant artists, was born in Cotonou in 1974. Still very young he was attracted by art feeling the need to create. He learnt the first technical rudiments from the painter and sculptor from Burkina Faso master Diaké, well known and appreciated artist in West African countries. He was advised by Diaké himself to move to the USA, but he underwent the opposition of his family, which began to hinder his artistic vocation and tried in vain to impose on him the learning of a 'real profession', that of medical doctor.
With renewed perseverance and tenacity, Romuald devoted himself to artistic practice: he moved away from his environment and his family to the Ivory Coast. Here he imposed himself in the cultural environment of the capital Abidjan, where he exhibited, with a personal exhibition, at the National LibraryAfter only three years, due to the outbreak of the civil war, he was forced to return to Benin. Once again, tirelessly and with enormous physical and economic sacrifices, he devoted himself to his creative work. Results came shortly after.
He had solo exhibitions in Niger (Niamey), Senegal (Dakkar), Togo (Lomé), Benin (at the University of Abomey-Calavi, the American Cultural Center of the U.S. Embassy, the Chinese Cultural Center, the Bank of Africa, and other places). He participates in various residencies of artists, including one in Hong Kong.
Le sue opere figurano in importanti collezioni pubbliche e private (Collezione della Presidenza del Benin, Collezione dell’Ambasciata degli Stati Uniti in Benin, Collezione delle catene Novohotel e Ibis). Lo stesso Kofi Annan lo contatta personalmente e acquista sue opere.
Romuald exhibits with collective and personal exhibitions especially in Europe, in Brussels, Liège (Belgium), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Bulogne, Tanlay Castle (France). Paris is the city where he is permanently present. At the World Fair on Contemporary Art 'Parcours des Mondes' he participates with the work, much appreciated, 'La main'. It Is in Paris thatUNESCO chooses its work 'Les enfantes esclaves' for the affiche of the entire event 'Temps Modernes'.
Romuald Mevo Guezo Cagna, adopts by an Italian family, lives now and resides permanently in Italy.
#Paris - Artists and the Memory of Slavery: Resistance, creative freedom&legacies http://t.co/aONdxfMvfa #SlaveRoute pic.twitter.com/SO3iHNTVvD— UNESCO 🏛️ #Education #Sciences #Culture 🇺🇳😷 (@UNESCO) September 4, 2015
Romuald Mevo Guezo has a multifaceted artistic personality. Entering his workshop impresses and dazes. As a visitor said, “one has the feeling of being in the presence of works by ten different artists”. Painting and sculpture alternate expressing creations of the same power and beauty. However, he prefers sculpture; "I need to touch the material and shape it to transform it into thought". In painting he expresses himself with apparently simple but incisive strokes.
There is a particular balance between strength and delicacy in him. While expressing suffering and denouncing injustice, no trace of violence is found in his work.
At the basis of his philosophy is the intent to bring attention to the "need for love" and the possibility of satisfying it. Hence the invitation to open up and welcome the others in the awareness that together we can build a better world, replacing fear with optimism, with hope and joy.
He spans from figurative to abstract, from real to unreal ("Passion déchainée", "Devouring seduction"), and vice versa. He skillfully moves from the gentle work as "Genesis", abstract painting, to the aggressiveness of the jaws of a lion in the sculpture "Le roi". His subjects range from the mother, a simple figurative work that expresses all the richness of motherhood, to wild animals, as a recovery of the primitive, to abstract works ("Extreme Seduction", "Metamorphosis").
His lines are strongly erotic and elegant.
He uses all sorts of materials, from recycling to noble materials such as wood, stone, iron, bronze. He employs acrylics colors, oils, sand, textiles, etc. Warm colors such as red and yellow are preferred, as they give strength, courage and light, black and gray are adopted for the sense of mystery.