Bongoy, Patrick
Born 1980 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa
Patrick Bongoy’s textured works are the product of a painstaking process of cutting and weaving together strips of hessian fabric and rubber. This technique, as well as the additional sculpted layers of fabric that he adds on top, reference some of the many laborious tasks undertaken by women in the DRC in order to sustain themselves. Despite this hard labor, Bongoy’s painted figures and life-sized sculptures hum with a sense of discord. These figures with distorted limbs become symbols of the moral corruption that is slinking its way through the post-colonial DRC. Bongoy’s figures writhe over his textured canvases evoking a sense of disjointed or uncontrolled movement as if controlled by an unknown puppeteer. His figures look as if their bodies are frozen in mid-performance of a dubious act over which they no longer have control of their minds. However, rather than being sternly didactic, Bongoy’s works tell sad narratives that focus on the most vulnerable members of society and how they are often exploited by those in power.
Patrick Bongoy, Promise, 2019, Recycled inner rubber tube Hessian, 252 x 158 cm, Courtesy Ebony Curated