Contemporary and tribal African art
Director: Sorella Acosta
Address: Carrer Nou 1
Location: 08870 Sitges
Timetable: Monday - Sunday: 11 - 14h and 18 - 20.30h; Saturday: since 21h; Tuesday and Wednesday, only afternoon
Since his adolescence and while still completing his secondary schooling, Cameroonian multimedia artist Abdias Ngateu, became aware of his abiding interest in drawing and graphic arts. At just 14 years of age, he began his formal training in graphic and decorative arts. Two years later, Abdias realized that his art was personally therapeutic as he faced the demands of growing up and becoming a part of adult society. Hungry for knowledge, he participated in artists' workshops, various training programs and artistic residencies. In 2014, he enrolled in the Sociology Department at the Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences of Douala in Cameroon. Endowed with a strong will, yet a rare modesty, he was integrated into the very closed circle of artists of his country.
In 2011, he presented his works in several group exhibitions in Cameroon. Four years later, he received the "Découverte" award from the Goethe Institute in Douala and was selected to represent his country at the Segou'Art Festival in 2016 in Mali. In 2017, Abdias won third prize "Pascal Martine Tayou" in the national competition "Jeunes Espoirs 2017", organized by the Espacio Doual'Art. However, his true international recognition came from his participation in the OFF of Dak'Art 2018, the Biennial of African Contemporary Art in Dakar (Senegal). This was followed by a wonderful exhibition "Hors Norme" in the gallery Bolo Espace Art et Culture, organized by Edith Mbella, the gallery owner and promoter.
In his series "taxi-motorcycles" to be presented in the exhibition "Extravagance" next to works by the Cameroonian artist Anjel in the OOA Gallery of Sitges (Barcelona) in October 2018, Abdias creates scenes of the daily lives of the people of Cameroon. His paintings are an allegory of the urban disorder generated by overloaded taxi-motorcycles, called "Bend-Skin", well-known in Cameroon.
Abdias’ works are distinguished by his unique and personal way of “animalizing” the passengers and mocking them by depicting bodies of men with humorous heads of giraffes, lions, antelopes, elephants. Abdias explains: "If I represent men like this, it is because of their way of life, their inhumane behavior towards others. I paint a disproportionate society where the abnormal becomes the norm. "
Born in 1993, in Cameroon, Anjel discovered art during his childhood. The proximity of his cousin Samuel Njomke, who was taking his first courses in drawing, influenced him greatly in his artistic practise. His work and creations are centred on the intimate relationship linked with the concept of negative dependency. “My artistic work arises from the intimate relationship linked with notions of negative dependency. A force of attraction that generates a fictitious bond between two random things. Thus, man becomes his own slave, creating a balance where everything that he imagines is fused together. I'm interested in producing pieces that function like a mirror for introspection. From an aesthetic point of view, I engage in the metaphoric relation of the elements that are interposed and transformed. My outlook overcomes my own artistic will. In this sense, by means of an introspective search closely related to that of my own subjects, my work becomes a kind of interrogation and presentation of the realities of negative dependency, knowing that to reject all dependence is to elevate man above being." explains Anjel.
After finishing his baccalaureate in 2012, he managed to enter the Foumban Institute of Fine Arts (IBAF). His studies allowed him to make contact with famous artists such Hervé Youmbi and Jean-Jacques Kanté among others. He participated in various group shows at the Congo French Institute in Brazzaville, at the Atelier Sahm following a month-long artistic residency, in the Festival Cot'Art organized by the Cotco society and at the Cameroon French Institute in Bamenda. He also participated in other events celebrated in Cameroon such as the 2014 Nguon Festival and the 2016 Cot'Art Festival.
In his creations, the artist exteriorizes his thoughts: for him art is liberating and allows him to go forth and encounter others, hide his shyness and feel fulfilled. In the exhibition "Extraavgance" to be held in October and November at the OOA Gallery