Exhibition by Bodo Fils BBM & Abdias Ngateu
Bodo Fils BBM
Born in 1974 in Kinshasa (DRC). Lives and works between Dijon (France) and Kinshasa (DRC)
M'Pambu Bodo, known as «Bodo Fils», is the eldest son of the artist Pierre Bodo (1953-2015), internationally renowned for his paintings of dandies (Sapeurs). While today an artist with multiple talents, as an author, songwriter, interpreter, musician, actor and painter, as a child he was reluctant to continue his schooling and at the age of 12 he joined the family workshop, where his father Pierre taught him fine arts. In turn, the young artist Bodo Fils taught his brother Amani, who then started Fine Arts and created his own workshop. Bodo Fils stayed on at the family workshop until 2013 and could thus develop his own artistic language, from contemporary to the most symbolic expressions.
In January 2005, Bodo Fils participated in a major exhibition "Looking at 15 Years of Transition" at the Hotel Memling in Kinshasa. This exhibition earned him international recognition, earning him entry to the Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC) of the famous French collector Jean Pigozzi.
After experimenting with popular style, Bodo Fils found his way to figurative and symbolic painting with surrealistic accents, influenced by his artistic family universe. On the canvas, he stages his ideas, he denounces, he expresses his visions and sometimes even his dreams.
Describing the existential realities of the Congolese people, encapsulating religious or moral issues, and metaphorically restoring modern turbulence, Bodo Fils expresses himself both in a surrealistic and poetic way. Often offbeat, sometimes disturbing, sometimes tinged with humour, his vision dares, from the horrific to the strange, through images of childhood, eroticism and fantasy. "My creative approach, reconciling tradition, respect for ancestors, modernity and openness to the world, is shared by the Congolese people through my poetry and is the bearer of hope for the rebirth of my country."
Bodo Fils has recently returned to the world of "Dandies", which he has always loved and in which he excels, but never allowed himself to really invest in, in order not to encroach on the artistic universe of his father. In this series, Bodo Fils denounces the void behind beautiful appearances. "To be well dressed is pretty ... But what am I doing? How do I act and why? What do I say to others?”
Born 1990 in Douala, Cameroon - Works and lives in Douala, Cameroon.
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", 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. "
Contemporary and tribal African art