Rakajoo (aka Baye-Dam Cissé) is a young 34-year-old French artist who just graduated from the Art & Image section of the Kourtrajmé school founded by Oscar nominated film director Ladj Ly and artist JR. His work was presented in the group exhibition Jusqu’ici tout va bien at the Palais de Tokyo at the end of 2020. The exhibition at Danysz gallery is his first solo show in a gallery.
The Three Castles includes twenty entirely new artworks, produced especially for this exhibition: works on canvas, most of them oil paintings, and on paper, as well as a sound or audiovisual installation extending the presentation.
Rakajoo is a portrait painter who loves to tell stories. With his paintings, he takes the floor to better concede it to others. The others are those he meets daily, relatives and people he doesn’t even really know, as the police officer whose portrait he exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, and whom he interviewed to realize sound installations complementing the setup of his paintings.
Sometimes referring to art history (Vermeer, Whistler, Freud are his references), his canvases are open windows on characters who carry individual stories but who are also part of a larger narrative, that of the Afro-Europeans.