Calixte Dakpogan – between tradition and modernism

Calixte Dakpogan was born in 1958, Pahou, Benin. He lives and works in Porto Novo, Benin. Born to a family of blacksmiths, he grew up in the Goukoumé district of Porto Novo, Benin, a district dedicated to Ogun, the god of iron. He’s a innovative sculptor who uses metal and discarted materials for create anthropomorphic figure, mainly masks with plastic, forks, pens..


Chef de la gare


La cocina

The abundance of car wreckages in Porto Novo has provided Calixte Dakpogan with an inexhaustible source of materials.

Masks have a symbolic value in Africa, he creates a new and contemporary iconography. He said: “All of my sculptures speak of my country, my culture, my surroundings and my beliefs, as well as of the entirety of my worldview. I work with recovered materials since they are weighed down by time and transformed by usage, conferring a degree of vitality upon my sculptures that I would not be able to attain if I used new materials.” — Calixte Dakpogan (Interview with André Magnin, Porto-Novo, Benin, 2005).

Inspired by Romuald Hazoumé, Calixte Dakpogan is not the only artist who used discarted materials for create his artwork, we remember also El Anatsui or Gonçalo Mabunda.


Mamiwata, 2006


Boy, 2008


Ambassadeur, 2010

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