BORIS NZEBO

Port-Gentil, Gabon, B. 1979

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Born in 1979 in Port-Gentil in Gabon, Boris Nzebo is a self-taught visual artist, now based in Cameroon.

 

Nzebo constructs portraits using detailed studies of traditional African hairstyles, layered with informal snapshots of local neighbourhoods, urban architecture and scenes from daily life. Recent paintings address current affaires; violence, social inequalities and political instability. The artist's stylized execution owes a lot to painted haircut signs found outside Cameroon's barber shops, as well as the murals and graffiti throughout Douala’s suburbs. He uses a strong colour palette and appropriates the language of advertising. Through the painting of traditional African hairstyles, often elaborate, Boris Nzebo questions his society in search of a reference point, and paints the daily life of his city. The hairstyle then becomes a pretext to reveal to the spectator the social and political problems of his country.

The artist's original approach gave rise to numerous collaborations around the world, in particular with the Blachère foundation (Apt) in 2011, along with a number of artist residencies alongside artists such as Koko Komégné, Hervé Yamguen and Goddy Leye.

Represented by the Jack Bell gallery in London, Nzebo was also exhibited by the Manchester Art Gallery or the Saatchi Gallery in London where he was exhibited on the occasion of the two collective exhibitions Pangea: New Art from Africa and Latin America (2014 ) and Panagea II: new arts from Africa and Latin America. Boris Nzebo is part of many collections such as the National Fund for Contemporary Art in France (FNAC). He is the winner of the Jacobs Foundation Prize in Switzerland.