Clément-Marie Biazin, untitled, s. d., Gouache, 38.5 x 57 cm, Photo : Claudine Garcia, Atelier de numérisation ¬- Ville de Lausanne Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne
Biazin, Clément-Marie, (1924 - 1981), République centrafricaine
Clément-Marie Biazin (1924–1981) was born into a Yakoma tribe in Central African Republic and attended a missionary school from which he was expelled for "indiscipline". Deciding to travel when he was twenty-two, he crisscrossed Africa on foot, beginning with his home country, then following up with Congo, Uganda, Burundi, Cameroon, Gabon and Guinea. Each time he worked as a mason or cook until he had saved enough to be able to move on. Back in Central African Republic around age forty-three, he began painting untaught, with the aim, he said, of passing on and preserving the African tribal histories, traditions and customs he had seen gradually disappearing. Thus he created pictorial renderings of the knowledge he had acquired during his twenty years as a nomad. Destitute and with a dependent father, he worked with salvaged supports and paint. French filmmaker Robert Sève discovered his work while making a film commissioned by the French embassy about a museum in Bangui, the Central African capital. Sève made a documentary about him and became a collector of his paintings.
In 1974 Clément-Marie Biazin was diagnosed with leprosy. Three years later he went to France with Sève for treatment and gave up painting. In ten years he had he had probably made more than 500 pictures. He died of his illness in 1981, in a hospital in the north of Paris.