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Joël Degbo, Artist-in-residence in Chicago

Between January 16 and April 13, 2019, the Lycée Français de Chicago is pleased to welcome Joël Degbo, a painter and videographer, to its schoolas their 2019 artist-in-residence.

The Lycée’s biennial artist-in-residence program has been offering artists the possibility of a creative stay since its inception in 1998 with artist Christian Boltanski and, most recently, with artist Nicolas Henry in 2016. For LFC students, it is a unique opportunity to engage in an ambitious and structured artistic process, questioning notions of space, time and environment.

I am not the result of chance but the fruit of my environment.” Sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s statement sums up well the thought and artistic practice of Joël Degbo, which is pictorial, photographic, sculptural, performative or by installation.

Joël Degbo was born and raised in the Parisian suburb of Villepinte. After studying at Beaux-Arts in Nantes, it was at Central Saint Martin College of Arts and Design in London and Beaux-Arts in Paris that he explored the great concepts that still influence his artistic practices. Architecture, urbanism, changing spaces, gentrification and population displacement are subjects at the core of his artistic choices, inherited from his personal experience and urban strolling practices. From Guy Debord to Kerry James Marshall, from Frantz Fanon to Elias Canetti, among others, he questions the relationships between individuals and the environment, whatever the chosen mode of expression.

In parallel with his work at the Lycée, Joel Degbo has also settled in Mana's studios with the support of the Cultural Services at the Consulate General of France in Chicago. Founded in 2011, Mana Contemporary is dedicated to providing a platform for contemporary art and artists through exhibitions, studio programs, and public programs. Mana’s community network began in Jersey City and has since expanded to include Mana Chicago and Mana Miami. Mana Contemporary continues to create new partnership opportunities that explore the intersection of contemporary art, design, new technologies, and music.


Various meetings with the artist are scheduled during his three-month stay:

Lycée Français de Chicago & MANA

Contact : pdomaine@lyceechicago.org