Boris Nzebo: Zombi
From October 1 to 19, 2018, Jack Bell Gallery, London will present Zombi, an exhibition of recent work by Cameroonian artist Boris Nzebo.
Nzebo explores subjects drawn from his hometown Douala, Cameroon’s largest city. He 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 social and political inequality, individual success being met with persecution in the community, the underbelly of nightlife, moral questioning of adultery and the relationship of hairstyle to personal expression and identity.
His stylized execution owes a lot to painted haircut signs found outside Cameroon’s barbershops, as well as the murals and graffiti throughout Douala’s suburbs. He uses a strong colour palette and appropriates the language of advertising. The works are instantly recognizable – simultaneously personal and universal – and speak in a vernacular familiar to the city’s inhabitants.
August 23, 2019