Chéri Samba (1956-), Democratic Republic of the Congo


, 1992

Acrylic and glitter on canvas

44 7/8 x 56 3/4 in. (114 x 144 cm)


About this artwork

According to Bogumil Jewsiewicki, this painting was one of a series in which Chéri Samba included himself in the painting. Samba said that people are throwing stones at him because they are jealous of his success. The text at the bottom of the painting says, “L’arbre sterile ou aux fruits amers n’est jamais l’objet des jets des pierres”, which translates as “People do not throw stones at a tree that does not bear fruit or has bitter fruit.”

Though Samba attributes the quote to Matthew 7: 17,18 (“Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”), this is quite different from the text he wrote on the painting.

African Loxo. “Bio Cheri Samba”. Artistes / République Démocratique du CONGO. Accessed May 3, 2023.

CAACART. “Chéri Samba.” The Jean Pigozzi Contemporary African Art Collection. Accessed May 3, 2023.

Rebecca Anne Proctor. “Congo Is in a ‘Cultural Crisis’. Here’s How Artists, Dealers, and Collectors in the Capital of Kinshasa Are Using Art to Solve the Problem.” Artnet news, September 1st, 2022. Accessed May 3, 2023.