Willys Kezi is a visual artist born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2008, she graduated in Plastic Arts and Painting from the Kinshasa Academy of Fine Arts. 

As soon as she graduated, she joined the Collectif Eza Possibles, which had a space for creation, workshops and residencies around Kinshasa, where she overcame the male hegemony and fought to be recognised amongst the men. She developed her work and subsequently exhibited at the Institut Français in Brazzaville and Galerie Basango in Pointe-Noire in 2011. 

She then took part in numerous group exhibitions in France, including the Cité des Arts in Paris in 2013, and the Unesco headquarters in 2016 and again in 2018. Willys Kezi doesn’t lock herself into any particular technique: she pursues her research through performance, drawing, collage and painting…More recently, her latest series of drawings on kraft paper shopping bags evokes life in Kinshasa and Paris. Through her drawings on paper bags, as well as her larger-scale works, the artist questions the clichés conveyed about women by social networks. Hashtags, luxury brands, jewelry and sexualized bodies collide like statements about consumerism and imposed standards. 

Black-and-white stories unfold on the bodies of her characters: from childhood memories to political issues, from the daily struggles of immigrant women in France to fleeting moments when the dream of luxury becomes reality. 

For Kezi, the tension in which women are caught is too often resolved by superficial appearances, to the detriment of what she sees as the future of emancipation: education and knowledge. Her work is an exploration of the power of visual form, joyful chromatic improvisation and the triumphant beauty of female bodies.She joined Éric Dupont gallery in early 2018, which regularly presents her at international fairs: Art Paris 2019 to 2023, Art Brussels 2019, 1-54 London 2020, 1-54 Paris 2021, Cape Town Art Fair 2023, Drawing Now Paris 2023. 

In December 2019, Willys Kézi held her first solo exhibition at Galerie Éric Dupont in Paris. A catalog, published with the support of the CNAP, includes a text by Olivier Kaeppelin. Paris Jumping Eiffel commissioned her to design the poster announcing the event, held at the Champs de Mars from June 23 to 25, 2023. 

Artwork from the artist in our collection

Gaugin Series

Sois sage (2023)

Tu suscites des désirs forts en moi (2023)

Bois de Boulogne

Produits locaux et frais pour le Roi D (2024)

Mami Wata de Brazza (2024)

Muyombe girl (2023)

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