Ludovic Fadairo

“One of the respected elders of Benin’s visual artists, Fadaïro is as much a figure of the art world in Cotonou in his native Benin as in Abidjan and Bingerville in Cote d’Ivoire, where he has lived for a number of years, without forgetting Bamako or Accra, where one regularly sees him.” As a young child, Ludovic Fadaïro aspired to a musical career.

Today he is one of Africa’s major painters. The switch from music to painting involved trading one instrument for another, but Fadaïro has obviously chosen the right medium. Years of hard work and diligent exploration have enabled him to break free of technical constraints and have given free rein to his rich imagination.
“Fadaïro’s painting is like breathing: an exhalation driven by a powerful inner source. Every motif, face, and rivulet of paint is the result of an engagement with the materials that make up the texture of the canvas. Nothing is fixed, pre-drawn, or preconceived. The work emerges and develops as the artist breathes life into various symbols and compelling themes. Each painting captures inner images of an intimate and personal cosmogony expressing the essence of Africa, a continent laden with secrets, mysteries, and deep symbolism, and possessing a powerful physical immediacy. Matter and symbol merge in Fadaïro’s work to communicate things that are unseen but that exist in an eternal realm transcending both form and the gaze of man. Each piece constitutes an essential, primal act that resists any glib simplification. The works explore basic questions that humans ask about life and about themselves, and invite contemplative viewers on a journey eventually leading to an encounter with their own universality.”

“One should try to approach Fadaïro’s works as one would a piece of African sculpture. Traditional analysis and interpretation do not apply, as the works cannot be consigned to categories based on genre, technique, or style. The only thing that matters is the impact of the message enfolded in the complex signs and symbols bearing Witness to the power of African culture.”
“I met Ludovic Fadaïro in Accra. I knew of his work but generally we focus on emerging artists, not on masters. However, I was told that it was worthwhile meeting Ludovic in person. Ludovic is not only a great artist but a generous master who openly shares his experience and knowledge with artists of the younger generation. In addition to admiring his commitment to his younger colleagues, I had the pleasure of seeing many of his magical, poetic works in his house. He graciously agreed to help our program in its efforts to build networks of artists throughout continents. It wasa pleasure and privilege to work with him” -Marina Galvani, World Bank Art Curator.