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Boris Nzebo

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Auburge du Boulot Noir 2013

Acrylic on canvas

150x130cm

Boris Nzebo's multilayered paintings and collages conjure the visual complexity of his home town Douala, the largest city in Cameroon.

Drawing inspiration from urban culture, Nzebo concentrates on the elaborate hairstyles of men and women, which became inseparable from urban architecture as he lays his subject on top of buildings and street scenes.

Inspired by the hand-pintied advertisements found in West African beauty parlours, the heads embody the intimate relationship between individuals and the places they inhabit, The psychological experience of hectic city life is evoked, by forcing the private, interior space of the self to merge with the public, exterior space of the street.

Douala has a multi-faceted visual fabric where many contemporary trends face the city's past, most notable in modern and traditional dress codes, and in graffiti and advertising on historical buildings. The unpredictable and resilient nature of such diversity is at the root of Nzebo's practice, which captures the city inhabitants' drive to fill every empty space with colour and energy.

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