LONDON.- Jack Bell Gallery presents a new series of works on paper by Congolese artist Bandoma, in his first solo exhibition at the gallery.
Bandoma describes his work as recycling found objects, appropriating imagery from contemporary advertising and magazines, in order to breathe new life into them. In his most recent series, the artist creates imagined portraits of the inhabitants of Congos sprawling capital Kinshasa. A shape shifting species of genetic mutations, his images are contemporary embodiments of traditional African gods and fetish objects.
Bandoma combines acrylic, watercolour, felt-tip pen, ink, and collage, often on handmade paper to give these works a tangible energy. Splashes of paint and and bursts of colour add violence and urgency to his portraits. Inspired by the chaos of daily life and the fast moving media that make up Kinshasas street culture, the artists aesthetic approach and choice of materials reflect a dynamism in new artistic trends stemming from Africa.
Steve Bandoma graduated in Fine Arts in Kinshasa. Based in Cape Town today, he interrogates post-colonial politics in Africa. Besides his participation in local and international exhibitions, he got awards and fellowships such as Art Buzz (USA) 2009, a Pro Helvetia residency fellowship in Zurich as well as the Visa pour la création Afrique et Caraïbes 2009 in Paris. In 2010 Bandoma exhibited at FOCUS in Basel, and at the Space: Currencies in Contemporary African Art exhibition in Johannesburg.