Yannis Davy Guibinga

Yannis Davy Guibinga

Libreville, Gabon

About my work

Bodypainting has been one of the earliest and most common forms of cultural and artistic expressions, regardless of whether it is done for religious, social or simply aesthetic reasons. In Africa especially, bodypainting has historically had a significant place in many societies, often to signify ones social status or belonging to a religious group. In Ethiopias Omo Valley, the Surma and Mursi tribes share a keen interest to bodypainting and extravagant decorations borrowed from nature. The technique and skill of body decoration is learned at a very early age, with mothers painting the babies who will later start to paint themselves. As a cultural manifestation, the art of painting and decorating oneself is of almost religious importance, despite its ephemeral and seemingly anecdotal character. "Pigments" is a body of work by photographer Yannis Davy Guibinga and Makeup Artist Amal Afoussi exploring the cultural significance of bodypainting as a physical manifestation of Africans creativity and innovation. By borrowing the Surma and Mursis free-flowing and ephemeral aspects of their artistic process, this series attempts to pay homage to these tribes while connecting with very modern elements. A dialogue between traditional and contemporary is therefore created, with creativity at the center of the conversation. Through a new interpretation of the art of bodypainting, this seris of images pay homage to some of the pioneers and forefathers of African creativity and artistic talent.


Yannis Davy Guibinga is a 25 years old photographer from Libreville, Gabon currently based in Montréal, Canada. In order to contribute to a change in the narrative about the continent, Yannis Davy Guibinga has found a strength and a tool in photography allowing him to not only celebrate, but also document and represent the many cultures and identities of the African continent and its diaspora. His portrait photography is a documentation of a new generation of Africans, unapologetically embracing their many identities and cultures in the face of globalization and western cultural imperialism. Yannis has worked for clients such as Apple, and he has exhibited works internationally in South Africa, Nigeria, France, Russia, United States, Switzerland and more, as well as featured on platforms such as CNN Africa, I-d, Afropunk and Condé Nast Traveler.




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Yannis Davy Guibinga

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