Vincent Coppée – Tangier Art Collector
I have yet to reread Tintin in the Congo, but listening to Vincent Coppée speak, his eyes full of mischief, I can easily imagine him in 1985, a Belgian-born young man arriving in Kinshasa, Zaïre (formerly Léopoldville in the Belgian Congo). He began working in communications and advertising for his own agency and a large international corporation.
Vincent, looking for favourable places to carry out his work, found, among others, the Académie des Beaux-Arts of Kinshasa, where he met the young painter Aimé Mpane. There, Vincent encountered and began to delve into African art; with care and passion, he soon started to assemble a collection, avoiding mediocrity and works by ‘artists without an art’*.
In 1996, he returned to Brussels, where he diversified his collection with sculpture and photography, including works by Robert Mapplethorpe and Walker Evans. In 2007, he sold a large portion of his collection to take a year’s sabbatical, returning to Africa, with a first stop in Tangier. But his journey ended there: he had a home built, featuring beautiful lines that pay homage to his passion for art.
Daniel Aron, Tangier, May 2018
*Capote, Truman. Local Color. Random House, 1950.