After studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kinshasa, JP Mika attended ARAP, the Popular Art Research Workshop established by artist Chéri Chérin with whom he perfected his technique. In 2004, he started his own studio named EBA (Fine Arts Events). JP Mika is inspired by the compositions of his mentor Chéri Chérin and predecessor Chéri Samba. Like Chéri Samba, Mika often stages himself in his work, painting self-portraits or placing himself into a group composition, always dressed in ‘Sapeur’ style. Mika has developed his own aesthetic centered around detailed portraiture, simplifying his staging by using colorful, patterned fabrics as backgrounds to depict a modern, dynamic Africa.
His exhibitions include Malick Sidibé, Mali Twist (2017), Le Grand Orchestre des Animaux (2016–17) and Beauté Congo –1926–2015 – Congo Kitoko (2015) all held at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris; and Folk Art Africain? Créations contemporaines en Afrique subsaharienne, FRAC Aquitaine, Bordeaux (2015).