Do you know Nicholle Kobi ? Nicholle Kobi is a French artist who draws a realistic image of the black parisian community especially black parisian women as me. I discovered her 3 years ago when I was planning to do my personal blog. She perfectly defines the routine of a black parisian. Many North-American people don’t know there are black people in Europe or France. I was surprised to realize that African-americans can’t imagine the fact there are black people in France. Maybe that’s an image what France doesn’t want to share outside but it’s wrong. I selected most of my favorite illustrations that you’ll see scrolling :
In France, the occupation of African people mostly dated from colonization. There is a big exchange between France and its colonized countries. That is a reason in part you will meet many black faces in France. About my personal story, I was born in the ’14th’ district of Paris. My dad arrived in France in 1968 after graduating high school. He came from the Republic of Congo. What about this is unbelievable? As me, my dad was born French. During the colonization everyone was born French. On his birth certificate, it’s interesting to read ”French Republic of Equatorial Africa” at the top. First, he arrived in Montpellier (South-West of France) as a student to continue his PHD in Paris. Similar to my mom, who left Cameroon in 1979 as a student in Paris. But she was not born French.
I started to discover my backhomes (Congo&Cameroon) from the age of 2 by going on vacations. A lot of us are immigrant children with a same or different story which symbolizes the colourful french face I want to share with you because diversity is a gift! Depending on where you are, where your parents come from or where you live now: your life will be a mix of different cultures, values and your education. Paris is not at all the paradise. There are many bullshits in Paris just like everywhere else but I’m proud of what I learned and the opportunities I got while living there (museum, literature, fashion, visit sites, music, arts, food…) without forgetting parents’ educations. I think I took all positive things and vibes that influenced who I am.
Now let’s stop talking about me! I have the pleasure to introduce you an artist named Nicholle Kobi. I’m a big fan of this woman. I missed her 1st event in November 2016 but this August 24, 2017, I was in Toronto to discover her exhibition, meet her and buy some drawings. I felt honoured to sit in this exhibition after work. During this exhibition, I made a virtual trip to Paris with a ton of memories.
Also, I was flattered to see some drawings that reflect my daily life. It sees to me that she draws many real-life situations . What about the drawings I like? Their realistic side which you’ll definitely adore. If you like Arts, Fashion with simple realistic things and details everywhere: you’ll be fan! To be humble, I can describe her works by a routine of many women in the world. However, black characters are in the spotlight (which is extremely rare) and all scenes take place in PARIS.
It’s a big definition of the Black parisian that she and I am. My husband and I enjoyed this event and I found one of my favourite drawings. My husband picked one for me that he really liked. I also like a top of a black lady named ‘Black-geoisie’. I’ve totally joined the concept of the ‘Black-geoisie’. Black-geoisie comes from the word ‘Bourgeoisie’ and in France, this word appears in the 18th century. The bourgeoisie were the middle-class people who owned most of the wealth in a capitalist system. Black-geoisie just combines two words. You’ll find many critics about this new word about being poorly used. But, one more time, my 1st concept is to transform, beautify and improve what is supposed to be bad on my mind.
Also, we got a chic word to qualify this new black middle-class who can be heard. Hopefully, I’ll find this term in the future in dictionaries… Why Nicholle is one of my favourites? Because, I feel close to her reality and I feel like her work defines my life, my inspirations and how strong us women. I never liked virtual things or fiction. I have always preferred true stories and I’m always looking for something that can be mine. With this kind of art, my imagination is flourishing…
About my meeting with Nicholle? She was really open, sociable and simple. I enjoyed discussing with her and finally by talking, we realized that I like some drawings because I can recognize me in her characters. I can identify myself. It’s curious how we appreciate to be identified and it’s more than a drawing. Under the details, there are inspirations and messages. If you like what you looked at and read now, don’t be shy to learn more about her: https://nichollekobi.com/ and why not coming to the next exhibition. Voila !!!