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Rafiy Okefolahan

Born in 1979 in Porto-Novo in Benin, Rafiy Okefolahan first trained with Beninese artists, then he trained at the National School of Arts in Dakar. A multidisciplinary and almost self-taught artist, he creates paintings, drawings, and installations. Color is for him a means of expression. His works are rooted in reality and often linked to current events. His work also feeds on his interventions in schools.

Partition of shapes and colors, his paintings are populated with faces, symbols, and signs expressing "the noise of the world". He tries through them to fight oblivion and to heal wounds. A committed artist, he tackles socio-economic and identity issues such as the issue of population displacement, inequality, and corruption through art. His works mix various materials such as coffee grounds or rust, borrowed from the voodoo tradition, raw pigments, Indian ink, and oil paint. The power of the color and the relief of the fabrics create an intense aesthetic in order to restore a central place to the human.


Attaching particular importance to the dialogue of disciplines, he has also collaborated with contemporary dancers in the context of various events such as the Dakar Biennale, the Vaudou Festival in Strasbourg and at the Cité Internationale des Arts. In recent years his work has been moving towards installation, in order to work with color in 3 dimensions. This reflection has inhabited him for many years, he notably produced installations at the Center (Benin) in 2015 and in Dakar, during the Off of the Biennale in 2008. Installation or painting, his artistic research remains that of a humanist colorist.

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