Boris Nzebo: Black History Hotel

October 13 - November 6, 2015

Jack Bell Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of paintings by Boris Nzebo. For his third show with the gallery, the artist presents a new series of work inspired by his first trip to London. At times autobiographical, the paintings describe the artist’s experience of Soho with its vibrant nightlife and proximity to the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus.

 

Nzebo is noted for making paintings that draw on the surroundings of his hometown Douala, Cameroon's largest city. He uses a strong colour palette that evokes the murals and graffiti of street culture found throughout Douala's suburbs. The works are instantly recognizable - simultaneously personal and universal - and speak a language familiar to Douala's inhabitants.

 

Nzebo's stylized execution owes a lot to painted haircut signs found outside Cameroon's barber shops. Appropriating the language of advertising he creates portraits taken from detailed studies of traditional African hairstyles, often elaborate, and combines them with informal snapshots of local neighbourhoods, urban architecture and scenes from daily life.

 

Born 1979, Port-Gentil, Gabon, Nzebo lives and works in Douala, Cameroon. His work has recently been exhibited in ‘Pangaea II: New Art From Africa and Latin America’, Saatchi Gallery, London.