Private view Thursday 18 January 2018
Jack Bell Gallery is pleased to present a new body of paintings by contemporary artist Ajarb Bernard Ategwa. In his third solo exhibition with the gallery, Ategwa continues to deal with street life in downtown Douala, Cameroon. This new series, entitled ‘Kwasa Kwasa Girls’, focuses on the hive of activity after dark and takes its name from one of the city’s established strip clubs.
Cameroon’s largest hub, Douala, has had many foreign influences in the past and more recently an influx of migrants from within the country as well as from neighbouring regions. This has shaped Douala into the vibrant and colourful metropolis that is the source of Ategwa's art. His paintings work as sequences in a larger narrative describing the chaos of his hometown. Moving between the taxi stands, newsagents, bars, roadside markets and fleeting moments of respite, the artist offers snapshots of everyday life.
Ategwa’s works are large format and mimic the scale of cityscapes and public space. His vivid colour palette and graphic style speak the language of advertising familiar to Douala’s inhabitants. With great skill the artist weaves together urban scenes, sounds and smells to create a rich sensory immersion.
Ategwa was born in 1988 in Kumba, Cameroon. He lives and works in Douala, Cameroon.