african contemporary > contemporary african art gallery

painting PAINTING

ARTISTS artists
NEWS news






Born in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, Massamba was confronted with the civil war that tore apart his country. Gastineau explores a universe of violence, chaos and pain, deep traces of which can still be seen today. He doesn’t use paint, but burns, cuts and embroiders huge canvases or linen to create images of incredible force.

Massamba ’s stark depiction of armed soldiers atop a mountain of skeletons bears witness to unspeakable human suffering. The re-occurring motif of the skull suggests a will to tame the forces of evil, his art making process rewriting the real and transcending horror and trauma. The skull image also makes reference to more traditional forms of vodou practiced in his home country. The Okapi is a native animal to Central Africa, an endangered species with a precarious existence. As a national icon the Okapi stands on a background of lettering drawn from playing cards, symbols that point to histories of colonialism and cultural domination.

Gastineau Massamba was born in 1973 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. He lives and works in Paris, France.

source: Jack Bell Gallery

about us | africa today | artists | contacts | painting |photography | sculpture

african contemporary - contemporary african art gallery (c) 2017 > All rights reserved | privacy policy