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Calixte Dakpogan

 (born 1958)
Calixte Dakpogan is active/lives in Benin.  Calixte Dakpogan is known for Sculpture.

Calixte Dakpogan

Biography from Bonhams Bond Street

The descendant of the royal blacksmiths of Porto Novo, Benin, Calixte Dakpogan was born in the Gukomy quarter in 1958.  The spiritual centre of Vodun, the region is traditionally associated with Gu, the god of iron and war.  Dakpogan began his artistic career by making works that demonstrated his devotion to the deity.  Inspired by the works' popularity, he began to make secular sculptures. 

Dakpogan's compositions are forged from the scrap metal that he finds on the streets of Porto Novo, scavenged car parts in particular.  Calixte and his brother Theodore began to construct standing figures out of these parts, in the style of early 19th century metal Fon sculptures.

In 1992, the Dakpogan brothers received a commission from the Benin government to create one hundred of these scrap figures to be exhibited at Ouidah 92, the First International Festival of Vodun Arts and Cultures.  Since then, Calixte has largely worked independently, recycling and reconfiguring waste metal and plastic into masks, beasts and figures.   The sculptures incorporate increasingly disparate objects such as floppy disks, CDs, combs, sandals and tin cans.

He has described his artistic intentions thus:"All 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 burdened with time and transformed by usage, conferring a degree of vitality upon my sculptures that I would be able to attain if I used new materials." (Interview with Andre Magnin, 2005)

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About  Calixte Dakpogan

Born:  1958 - Gukomy quarter
Known for:  Sculpture